If you’ve seen a bony bump on your foot, you can be sure with 90% certainty that it is a condition known as bunions. Now, bunions are usually nothing serious https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907787/.
They are merely a cosmetic problem, and most people ignore them. In some cases, people do not even know they have bunions. However, sometimes these bunions can cause pain and discomfort.
This is the time people ask how to get rid of bunions. Before we get to all the solution and non-invasive methods, we need to discuss what are bunions, what are the causes of bunions, and symptoms that help you identify the problem.
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What are bunions?
Before we get any further, everyone can develop a bunion. Even children can suffer from the condition. There are, however, risk factors.
For example, bunions are more common problem among women, due to the fact that women usually wear shoes that are unhealthy for the feet.
We talk about high heels of course, which sometimes are too tight or too narrow.
These bony bumps usually develop due to genetics. If any of your close relatives dealt with the problem, chances are, you will have to deal with it as well.
Some health conditions can often result in bunions as well. These include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and other health conditions affecting the big toe and causing swelling of joints.
Activities that require putting a lot of pressure on the feet, like running, can also result in development of bunions.
Causes of bunions
We talked about the risk groups and factors of bunions, but how do these exactly appear? And why do they appear?
The bony lump develops as a result of an atypical motion of the foot. In the world of science, the term is “excessive pronation”.
This means you are putting your foot in a wrong way and because of that you are putting too much weight on the inner edge of the foot sole.
If you suffer from flatfoot, or wear tight shoes, your big toe may also bend toward the smaller toes. This results usually in painful bunions.
The good news is that bunions can easily be treated with non-invasive methods https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-to-do-about-bunions.
The bad news is that if you leave them untreated, they can affect the rest of your toes as the big toe will press on them. And that results in more annoying and problematic conditions like ingrown nails, hammertoes, calluses, and corns.
Symptoms of bunions
As mentioned previously, one of the primary symptoms of bunions is the bony lump. The main and probably the only problem with bunions is they look unattractive.
Some people suffer from pain and discomfort, some do not. But you will feel swelling at the base of the big toe, which is known as the metatarsophalangeal joint.
The unpleasant symptoms of bunions start low, and then develop gradually. Therefore, at the later stages, you may notice that your big toe is bent towards the other toes.
You can also notice that the joint is becoming reddish and that the skin around the bunion is irritated. The affected joint can be painful and/or stiff.
Pain caused by bunions is not severe, but it is often continuous. Sudden and strong pain is not a symptom of bunions. Instead, that is a symptom of gout, another common condition affecting the feet.
Home remedies for bunions
When you want to find the answer to how to get rid of bunions, the easy thing to do is to look for natural and home remedies.
Let’s be honest, it is not easy to eliminate bunions. However, there are a couple of non-invasive ways you can try before you go for a surgical operation.
Wear proper footwear
This may sound unrealistic, but if your bunion is small, you do not need to do much http://www.bhamfoot.com/education-foot-disorders-injuries-birmingham.html. The only thing you need to do is to change your shoes.
As mentioned previously, bad footwear is the most common reason for the development of bunions. If you wear badly fitted shoes, you disturb the flow of blood to the foot, and the result is bunions.
Do not buy too narrow or too tight shoes. The right size of your shoes is the key to healthy feet.
For women, the crucial thing to do is to stop wearing high heels on a daily basis https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223092217.htm. Do not wear them every day, even though you look more beautiful and they give you confidence.
Change them to more comfortable shoes whenever possible. For example, you can walk to work in flat shoes, and then switch to heels if your work demands that.
Athletic shoes are the best option, as long as they fit well. And when you buy athletic shoes, go for those of top quality that have good padding and arches.
Try to walk barefoot
Our ancestors walked barefoot. Humans are not created to walk in shoes. When we wear shoes, we squeeze our feet in them and the soles of our shoes are usually too soft, which weakens the muscles. When possible, walk barefoot to avoid bunions.
When you walk barefoot, your feet are in a natural position and your muscles get stronger. Walking barefoot is a great way to eliminate bunions, but also to prevent bunions.
However, if the bunions are in the advanced stage and are already painful, walking barefoot is not a good idea and can make the problem worse.
Exercises for your feet can help you prevent bunions, but also stop their further development. Doing a few simple feet exercises will take you a couple of minutes, but your feet will be thankful. You will notice your feet feel more relaxed after a long day of walking.
The simplest exercise is to stretch your big toe. Just pull it with your fingers so that the toe is properly aligned with the other toes. Then stretch all other toes.
Another exercise is pressing your toes against a wall or any other flat surface. Press them to the point they are bent back, and then stay in the position for 10 seconds. Repeat few times. Doing this exercise on a regular basis will improve flexibility of your toes.
Bunions often cause swelling. And that is on top of the pain they cause. Because of the swelling, you might have even bigger problems wearing your shoes.
Therefore, a cold compress made of ice pack will help you reduce the swelling, and bring immediate relief.
Just wrap a couple of ice cubes in a clean cloth, and then press it on the bunions for a few minutes. Do not press for more than 10 minutes, as you might develop skin irritation.
When you walk for long time, and when your feet are tired, bunions either get more painful, or start appearing. Warm water can improve the blood flow, circulation, and reduce tiredness of your feet.
All you need to do is prepare a warm bath. Just fill a large bowl with warm, but not too hot water, and put your feet inside for 20 minutes. Add a couple of essential oils to the bath if you want to make the experience more pleasant.
You can use castor and olive oil to get rid of bunions. These oils improve circulation, so massage the bunions with castor and olive oil two times per day. Regular massage will yield results in a few weeks.
Essential oils massage
For those that want to take things to the next level, go for essential oils instead of castor and olive oil https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5192342/. Essential oils contain a lot of antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
All of these help with bunions. Lavender oil is the best, as it helps you relax the feet as well.
Make sure to warm the oil in the palms of your hands, and then massage the affected area with your fingers for 10 minutes.
Epsom salt is a natural painkiller that can also be used for bunions treatment. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, a natural painkiller that will alleviate the pain and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Prepare a bowl of warm water, and then add some Epsom salt inside. Keep your feet in the bowl of water for 20 minutes. Repeat every day, and your bunions will get smaller.
Capsaicin, the main active compound of red pepper, is another natural painkiller. This ingredient can significantly reduce the size of bunions and eventually eliminate them.
Because red pepper is quite strong, use it in small amounts. Apply small amount of Vaseline directly on your bunions, and follow it up with some red pepper. Wrap the foot in a soft cloth to keep it warm. After 10 minutes, remove the wrap.
Bunions pads might not be natural remedies, but nevertheless, they are non-invasive methods for how to get rid of bunions. These pads can stop small bunions from growing up.
The pad will help put the toe back to a proper position, and alleviate the pain in the process.
When to see a doctor?
When bunions are in advanced or in severe stage, preventive measures and home remedies for bunions might not be enough.
If you experience severe pain and discomfort due to bunions, you might be inclined to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The longer you wait to visit the doctor, the more difficult it will be to be get rid of bunions.
Do not worry, doctors will help you find few solutions that will allow you to lead a normal life. They will not cut your feet off.
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