Natural remedies for bunions

Bunions are painful lumps on the outside of the big toe

Bunion is a term for those large and unsightly lumps next to the large toe on our foot.   They are actually a sign of inflammation in the joint and can be caused by a myriad of things, from a lifetime of wearing high heels or simply walking.  Bunions are never pleasant or comfortable.

Years of motion and pressure on the joint force the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the outside of the joint. Why this happens to your big toe, in particular, because it carries the majority of your weight while walking and enjoys the full force of gravity.

You may also have bunions if you have arthritis, and women are more likely to develop them than men.

The symptoms and signs of bunions include:

  • Restricted movement of the big toe
  • Pain whether mild or severe
  • Calluses or corns in the same area
  • Thickening skin layers at the base of the big toe
  • Soreness, redness, or swelling around the joint of the big toe
  • A swollen bump on the outside of the big toe’s base

If you have a bunion, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist who can advise.

But in the meantime, you could try one or some of these below natural remedies to reduce the size of the bunion – without surgery.

1. Maintain a normal weight

This goes without saying but if you are overweight, these extra kilos could be contributing to your bunion issue as the more pressure, the more it will hurt.

2. Olive oil

Warm some olive oil and massage the bunion, toes and lower foot for 15 minutes twice a day to enhance circulation and increase the blood flow to the foot and toes. Moving the fluid will make the joints easier to move and help to decalcify the bunion.

3. Ice 

It sounds like a no-brainer but ice is great for reducing swelling on your bunion especially if you’re waiting for a podiatrist appointment. Apply ice for 10 minutes several times a day.

4. Epsom salts

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulphate which minimises inflammation and pain. If your bunion is causing discomfort, simply dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt into a small tub of hot water and soak your foot in it for 20 minutes, twice a day. You can also massage your bunion whilst it is soaking.

5. Chamomile

If you want a top-notch solution to your bunion issues, get yourself some chamomile. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the swelling and pain of your bunion. You’ll be wanting to drink chamomile tea a couple of times a day, but don’t discard the tea bags because you can also place them directly on your bunions (warm is best).

6. Toe stretches

Stretching out your toes can help mobilise and offset foot pain. To stretch your toes, point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl them under for 5 seconds. Repeat these stretches 10 times, three times a day.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric contains capsaicin which can help to relieve inflammation and reduce pain as well. To see the benefits of this remedy, dissolve one teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of water and drink. If you don’t like the taste, you can topically apply turmeric to your bunions and leave overnight.

8. Wear the right shoes

It goes without saying that the right shoes will make all the difference to the comfort and appearance of your feet. However, if you are suffering from bunions, you want to pay even closer attention to the shoes you’re putting on because the wrong ones can inflame the symptoms and make healing take longer.  Flat shoes are usually a lot kinder to the feet suffering bunions, and flat should with larger space for the toes are a really popular choice.

You want shoes that have a deep and wide area for toes, which will eliminate any rubbing or pressure on your bunion. Consider using a padded shoe insert that will evenly distribute the pressure around your foot when you move. Put those high heels with the pointy toes to one side for the time being — you won’t be needing them unless you want your toes to move in an abnormal fashion. Avoid wearing tight-fitting socks or stockings unless they are designed for bunions.

9.  Wear a bunion protector that stays in place to limit rubbing 

A well-designed bunion protector with a gel bunion pad covering the bunion can be worn inside shoes and offers the comfort of additional layers between the foot and the footwear. Made from spandex, the bunion pad and protector can be slid over the forefoot and anchored with your toe so the Gel Bunion Pad stays aligned properly over your bunion.

10. Consider a Bunion Sleeve to correct the bunion

Podiatrists and foot health experts will frequently recommend a specialised bunion sleeve or bunion corrector for the treatment and correction of bunions, or as a part of the recovery from bunion surgery.  A bunion corrector is an ultra-thin sock-like foot covering like this ultra-thin bunion corrector. They are usually lightweight and comfortable to wear with shoes and suited to mild to moderate cases.  They work by gently realigning the big toe and taking away pressure from the other toes, releasing built-up tension and relieving soreness.

Have you experienced bunions or another foot problem? How have you dealt with it?

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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