Bunions are a painful condition that affects about a third of the country’s population. Medically known as hallux valgus, it refers to a misalignment of the joint at the base of the big toe. Typically, this joint juts out, forming a lump and forcing the big toe to face the other toes.
Bunions can cause excruciating pain. Unfortunately, they are not reversible except through surgery. But this is not to say that you must endure the pain or undergo surgery. There are many other conservative bunion NYC pain-relief options that you ought to try before your podiatrist recommends surgery. Well, here are five practical ways to relieve bunion pain.
Use Hot and Cold Therapy
Bunions can be extremely painful due to inflammation of the affected joint. One way to ease inflammation is to minimize blood flow to the area. You can do this using cold therapy because a drop in temperature causes blood vessels to constrict, leading to less blood getting to the site.
The easiest way to minimize inflammation is to soak your feet in cold water. You can also use a cold compress, like an ice bag or a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a towel.
Heat therapy is also great for reducing swelling and soothing painful feet. Soak your feet in warm water for 15 minutes or until you get relief from the pain. You can also use a heating pad to achieve the same results.
Take Pain- Relief Medication
You may take over-the-counter pain relief medications for fast relief from an inflamed bunion. NSAIDs, in particular, are highly effective at assuaging inflammation, thus relieving bunion pain in under an hour. Consider taking some Aspirin, Naproxen, or Ibuprofen to ease the pain.
It is important to alert your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you suffer from a chronic condition. NSAIDs may interact with your other medications, thus doing you more harm than good.
Wear Good Shoes
Although research shows that bunions are primarily hereditary, some lifestyle choices also increase the likelihood of developing them. Wearing tight shoes with pointed toes, for example, is one of the exacerbating factors for bunion formation.
To reduce your chances of getting a bunion, always wear shoes with a wide toe box to avoid squishing your toes. Also, ditch the high heels for comfortable, low heel shoes. Your shoes’ soles should offer support, and the overall shoe fit should be snuggly.
Watch Your Weight
Being overweight puts extra pressure on your big toe, and it can increase your likelihood of developing bunions severalfold. Consider shedding a few pounds to ease the pressure on your feet. You can do this by eating healthy, filling, nutritious foods in the right proportions and exercising regularly.
If you have to endure chronic pain daily due to bunions, your podiatrist may recommend getting feet accessories to alleviate the pain. These include bunion splints, bunion toe separators, correctors, and pads. You can find most of these accessories in most drugstores.
However, if generic orthotics are no help, your podiatrist may recommend getting custom accessories. These are usually more effective at offering pain relief.
Although bunions can be incredibly painful, you can use some of the methods discussed here to find relief. And if push comes to shove, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove the bunion permanently.