If you are looking for How to get rid of bunions, well you are in the right place. This is a common type toe deformation that can affect both male and female and can be caused by several factors including shoes, weight, accidents or genetics. Getting rid of red, swollen or painful bunions can be done naturally with home remedies and in worse cases, surgical procedures may be recommended.
Deformed bunions are very popular among women who wear high heels, people who spend most of their time on their feet, as well as those who use a poor form when exercising.
Initially, you may assume that your bunion is not a big deal, but if you were to leave it untreated, it might cause a serious scar tissue to begin forming in your foot. It could also lead to abnormalities on your toes, which may be accompanied by a lot of pain.
What is a Bunion?
- What is a Bunion?
- Signs and Symptoms
- What Causes Bunions
- Bunions Risk Factors
- Bunions Natural Remedies and How to Get Rid of Bunions without Surgery
- Bunions Surgery
- Precautions When Treating Bunions at Home
Hallux Valgus, also known as a bunion causes the joints at the base of your big toes to become enlarged and start sticking out. Although it is common for both men and women to develop bunions, women often develop bunions at a higher rate given that their shoes are constricting.
- For instance, high heels, which are favored by many women have a habit of squeezing the toes together, and this results in reduced blood flow, and reduced motion for the big toes.
- Typically, wearing shoes that are tight fitting exerts a lot of pressure on the toes and in the process makes, they start developing abnormalities at the joint position of the toe.
- Motion that is repetitive could also enlarge or distort the joint connecting your big toe to the other parts of your foot, and this may lead to the appearance of a bony bump, which is always accompanied by pain and swelling.
- In many cases, the growths associated with bony bunion appear gradually and often cause a lot of pain. Initially, you may not notice that the big toe has started turning inwards more than usual, or that the outer edge has started becoming puffy, making your foot appear red in color.
- As this progress, you may start to feel a lot of pain whenever you have to stand up, exercise or wear your shoes.
- As time passes by, this will wind up pulling your big toe joint out of its place. Scar tissue will the start to form as swelling takes place, and this will result in the abnormal position of your feet.
According to Dr. Axe, if you notice a bunion start to form, you should seek medical treatment right away. Early treatment provides a bunion the best chance of healing.
It is not recommended to let a bunion heal on its own as this could lead to further complications. Most individuals look for how to get rid of bunions so desperately that they end up getting it wrong. You can help resolve the problems associated with bunions by wearing roomier shoes, stretching your toes regularly, and applying essential oils on your joint as well as correcting your form when running or walking.
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Signs and Symptoms
There are studies that have shown that almost half of the entire adult population has a type of bunion. The bunion may start as very small, but with time, it will keep growing more as you continue to keep your toes constricted. The bigger it becomes, the harder it will be for you to walk normally.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen, or enlarge big toe base. In some cases, the outer edge of your big toe could appear puffy, warm, or red in color. The larger part of your big toe may also be swollen
- A noticeable growth or hard enlargement appears on the big toe side to the point where it meets your foot. There are people who may describe this growth as a hard and body bump protruding outward, and which will become irritated whenever you have to wear shoes
- Your big toe could start facing inward more than it normally does and ends up facing the smaller toes. There are instances where an enlargement will first appear along with your big toe facing inward. All this is before the development of pain.
- Pain in your toes, more so in the toes close to the big one
- You may experience pain when you are wearing specific shoes, which happen to be tight around your toes but feel okay when wearing other shoes
- You may feel that your toes have limited range of motions and feel very restricted
- Calluses will start to develop in the area where your toes rub against each other, or hardened skin may start forming under your toes
- A smaller bunion known as a bunionette could develop on the joint of the little toes
It is important to note that bunion does not affect adults only, as it can also affect young people. For young people, their bunions are called adolescent bunions and are more common on young girls who are sandwiched between the ages of ten and fifteen.
According to Dr. Axe, the adolescent bunions run in families and tend to be genetic in nature.
What Causes Bunions
Before we look at how to get rid of bunions, let’s look at what causes them in the first place. A bunion is usually brought about by the abnormal position of your toes, inflammation of your big toe, its malformation, or from an abnormality that could be present in the bone present in your big toe.
A common abnormality is known to cause bunions is the one which is responsible for the MTP joint found at the base of your big toe, and which makes it bulge outwards from the inner side of your foot.
The possible causes of bunions include:
If some members of your family who have bunions, your chances of developing them will be greatly increased.
Common types of arthritis that cause bunions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis—pain and inflammation in the joints caused by the immune system attacking the lining of your joints
- Gout—this is a type arthritis that has been known to affect the big toe
- Psoriatic arthritis—it is a form of arthritis that is associated with psoriasis—the skin condition
3. Other Conditions
There are conditions that have been known to increase the chances of you developing bunions. For instance, all conditions that are associated with flexible joints, low muscle tone, and loose ligaments will increase your chances of getting bunions
Examples include neuromuscular conditions, which include connective tissue disorders, Marfan syndrome, and cerebral palsy.
4. Poorly Fitting Shoes
Wearing ill-fitting shoes often contribute to bunion development. Bunions are very rare in people who do not wear shoes.
If you continue wearing shoes that do not fit you’re properly, or which happen to be too tight, this will more than likely make your bunion worse.
Tight shoes often rub against the big toe joint.
Bunions Risk Factors
The following factors increase your chances of developing bunions:
- High heels
- Ill-fitting shoes
Bunions Natural Remedies and How to Get Rid of Bunions without Surgery
Having looked at the causes and the risk factors, let us now turn our attention to the remedies.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil helps in increasing the circulation of blood in your toes, which is the main reason why it is helpful in treating bunions.
If done daily, it can help in reducing the size of your bunion.
- Scoop some olive oil and massage it to the bunion on your toes every day in the morning and the evening before going to bed
- You should continue massaging it until there is a significant change in how your bunion appears
2. Check Your Shoes
Wearing ill-fitting shoes could be the reason why you have developed bunions in your feet. Whenever you wear shoes that do not fit well, it stops the flow of blood as well as stopping the flow of the synovial fluid to your bones.
- Always confirm that you are wearing the right shoe size. If you happen to have shoes that are too small, the right thing to do may be to let them go
- For people with wide feet, it is normally harder and trickier for them to find the right shoes. As such, it will be important first to try out the shoes before taking them home to ensure that they will not pose any problems
- For ladies who are fond of wearing high heels, they need to let their feet rest every once in a while to thwart the formation of bunions
3. Perform Foot Exercises
If you are among the many people who are constantly performing exercises for their body, you need to ensure that you also perform exercises for your feet.
It is vital to remember that performing foot exercises helps in slowing down the appearance of the foot bunions.
- Always ensure you stretch your big toe before going to bed
- Having stretched your big toe, proceed to stretch all the other toes as well. You can never be too sure where the bunion might appear
- Every evening, make sure to stretch your toes a few times. It may be necessary for you first to hold the toes for at least ten seconds before you can resume movements.
4. Ice Pack
In case you have a feeling that bunions are starting to give your problems, what you will need to do is ensure that they do not start selling. For those that have started swelling, you have to take measures to reduce the swelling right away.
Using an ice pack has been known to help reduce the pain on a sore red bunion that you could be experiencing.
- Take a sizable ice pack and place it on your bunion for at least fifteen minutes
- Ensure you do not surpass the fifteen-minute pack as it could cause serious problems for your skin
- Place the ice pack on the bunion each day until the pain begins to reduce
5. Castor Oil
How to get rid of bunions – castor oil – Whenever castor oil is mentioned, you can be sure to expect a reaction from your audience. Many people remember it as the oil they had to take as kids when they were not feeling well.
What many do not comprehend is that it also contains anti-inflammatory properties. The properties contained in castor oil are vital when it comes to eliminating pain.
- First warm your castor oil
- Take a small towel dip it into the castor oil before placing it on your bunion
- Take another cloth and use it to cover the cloth with the castor oil to make sure that this oil will remain heated
- Ensure you repeat this whenever your bunion begins to hurt
6. Soak Your Feet in Warm Water
It is significant to keep in mind that one of the main reasons why the bunions are forming is because your feet are tired, and they do not have the right blood flow circulation
To improve this situation, you will need to soak your feet in water
- Warm a bowl of water
- Confirm that the water is warm enough before dipping your feet in it for at least twenty minutes
- The warmth present in this water will be vital in alleviating any soreness or tiredness that could be present in your feet.
7. Use Bunion Aid
It is not infrequent to come across individuals who do not know of the existence of the Bunion Aid. It is a good that has been intended to help people who are suffering from bunions
- Choose the right size for your feet
- Make sure to place it on your toes for the whole night
8. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is effective in treating bunions because it contains magnesium sulfate, which plays a vital role when it comes to reducing inflammation and any pain that is caused by the appearance of bunions on your feet.
- Gather enough Epsom salt to place in pail of water
- Place both feet inside the pail for a duration of not less than twenty minutes
- You will slowly start to feel the pain subsiding
- Placing your feet in a bucket of water that has Epsom salt on a regular basis will lead to the bunions becoming smaller with time.
9. Red Pepper
Red pepper contains capsaicin, which makes it great for dealing with bunions. It not only helps reduce the size of the bunions, but it is also instrumental in reducing the soreness that comes with a bunion.
- Apply some petroleum jelly on the area where you would like to apply the red pepper
- Once you have applied the jelly, place you red pepper on top of it
- Take a cloth and place it on the red pepper to preserve the heat
10. Use Shoe Inserts to Correct the Foot Positioning
Using bunion pads can assist in correcting the positioning of your knee, which will help in taking away the weight applied on your toes.
The pads work by redistributing the pressure away from the joints, which is where the bunions form.
There are people who need more arch and heel support to improve the feet’s range of motion, which in turn helps in balancing the weight of their body on the foot.
Bunion pads can be obtained from most drug stores and do not need a prescription from a doctor.
You, however, need to test the bunion pads for a while to confirm that they are indeed reducing the pressure from your feet instead of constricting the toes further, which may make the bunion bumps even worse.
Conventional Bunion Treatment
A doctor will usually diagnose you as having bunions after conducting a physical examination, which will involve checking your pain levels as well as asking questions to determine your experience, lifestyle, and the type of shoes that you wear.
- At times, an X-ray may be needed to confirm the extent of the damage caused by your bunions, though the enlargement of the big toe is sufficient confirmation for most doctors.
- In cases where the bunions are severe, and if the pain and swelling have become really bad, corticosteroids medication, accompanied by pain killers may be prescribed in a bid to help ease the discomfort as your bunion continues to heal.
- Whenever you can, it will be important to take a low dosage of over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, which helps ease the pain temporarily, as well as reduce the inflammation present on the big toe.
In other cases, a steroid injection could be administered, which will help in easing the swelling as well as the muscle spasms. However, if you do not make permanent changes as described above, your bunions could still come back, or appear in the future.
A complication that is likely to take place due to the bunions is the infection of your big toe joint. Therefore, if the doctor suspects that this could be the case with you, a fluid sample may have to be taken so that it can be used to test for antibodies and bacteria.
According to ACFAOM( the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine), “the home remedies that have been described above are enough to treat most bunions without the need of undergoing surgery.”
Bunion surgery is needed in very rare cases, and should always be considered as a last resort option, applicable for when a bunion has been left untreated for a very long time.
- At times, surgery is required to help in removing the scar tissue that has formed around the big toe in an attempt to help improve the range motion.
- The risk associated with surgery includes dorsiflexion of your foot, as well as adversely affecting your MTJ joint. Nevertheless, there are times when surgical procedure is the only option, especially in serious cases
- Before you can consider surgery, you should always ask your GP for a custom shoe insert that you can try out. You could also consider trying out a small toe spacer, which you will need to place between your toes in an attempt to prevent the big toe from falling asleep
- You should always keep in mind that the bunions will not go away on their own. According to most experts, they are a treatable condition, but you need to take action early on, as exercise patient when you are trying new home remedies.
Precautions When Treating Bunions at Home
If you notice that swelling has started to take place around your toes, and the swelling takes long for it to go away, ensure you visit your GP immediately.
Individuals who experience pain and swelling on multiple toes may have other conditions such as arthritis.
Below is a video on how to get rid of bunions and manage them at home;