Protecting Your Feet

Preventing And Reducing Bunion Pain

Bunions are an enlarged portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. They grow with time, and eventually cause your big toe to point outward -- facing your smaller toes. While it's less common, bunions can also form at base of the joint of your pinky toe. Bunions are typically treated by using medications or steroid injections to keep the swelling down. Unfortunately, the only way to remove a bunion permanently is by having it surgically removed, but that doesn't mean that you have to live in constant pain. There are several things that you can do to help prevent or relieve bunion pain.

Castor Oil

Castor oil contains numerous anti-inflammatory properties, making it extremely helpful in reducing any swelling around your bunion to relieve your pain. To use castor oil to treat your bunion:

  1. Place 1/2-cup of castor oil into a pan.
  2. Use your stove to heat the castor oil until it's warm. The castor oil should be hot enough that it doesn't cool right away, but not hot enough for it to burn your skin.
  3. Dip a cotton cloth into the warm castor oil, and make sure it's completely saturated before you remove it.
  4. Wrap the cloth around your bunion.
  5. Cover the cloth with a towel so that the heat doesn't escape.
  6. Repeat the process up to three times per day until your pain is gone.

Wear a Bunion Pad and/or Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts help position your foot correctly, relieving pressure to the area so that you bunion isn't as painful. You can purchase shoe inserts or arch supports at a pharmacy, or have your podiatrist write you a prescription for an orthotic device to insert in your shoe.

Bunion pads also help relieve pressure to the area. The small pads are made from moleskin or filled with gel, and they sit over your bunion, creating a barrier between your bunion and your shoe.

Daily Foot Bath

Once you're home for the evening, soak your feet in an Epsom salt and warm water mixture. Simply dissolve a few teaspoons of Epsom salts in a basin of warm water, and soak your feet for up to 15 minutes. Make sure the water is high enough so that your ankles are slightly covered, and that the water is at a lukewarm temperature to create a relaxing effect.

Bunions can be annoying and a lot of the time they are painful. However, by wearing shoe inserts or bunion pads, applying warm castor oil to your bunion, and soaking your feet in an Epsom salt foot bath regularly, you should be able to minimize your pain a lot. Contact a local podiatrist, like Aboite Podiatry Associates PC, for more information.