Sometimes, the big toe can lean towards the rest of the toes. Over time, this leads to deformity of its base and the base pushes outward. This resulting condition is called a bunion or a hump at the base of the big toe.
This condition is brought about when the body weight falls unevenly on the tendons and joints in the feet.
Both men and women develop this condition, but women tend to be more prone to such bone deformity.
According to the experts, tight, too narrow or high-heeled shoes can lead to the development of these bunions.
Additional factors that can contribute to bunion include foot deformities, foot injuries and inherited food type. Also, some types of arthritis can bring about the development of bunions.
As we have said before, bunion appears at a specific part of the joint thus causing reduced flexibility of the big toe and painful walking.
Also, it can cause joint pain and redness, irritated skin around the bunion, blisters, calluses and corns. Additionally, finding the most suitable shoes may be a great difficulty.
Unfortunately, bunions tend to get worse over time. Although there are some natural remedies that address the symptoms, they can’t correct the actual deformity. In some severe cases, surgery might be needed to correct the deformity.
Home Remedies That Ease the Symptoms of Bunions
One way to prevent the onset of this deformity and alleviate the pain is by massaging the affected part. In this way, you will improve the blood circulation and provide relief from the discomfort.
By regular massaging, you will reduce the size of the deformity and prevent the formation of calluses and corns.
- Rub some olive, castor or coconut oil on the bunion.
- With your fingers, do some deep-friction massage for about 10 minutes.
- Practice this massage 2-3 times a day.
When exposed to prolonged standing, bunions become sore and inflamed. Ice is one good method that will ease the pain and inflammation since the cold numbs the nerves and provides relief.
- Wrap some crushed ice in a thin towel.
- Place the towel on the bunion and let it stay for 5-10 minutes.
- After a 10-minute break, repeat the method for 2-3 times.
- Practice this method when needed.
Turmeric is another natural remedy that can treat bunions. Curcumin, the key component in turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory and pain-blocking properties. Another benefit of turmeric is that can be used both orally and topically.
Oral use: Mix one teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of milk or lukewarm water. Drink this combination two times a day.
Topical use: Mix a little olive oil and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and make a fine paste. Apply the paste on the bunion. Do this 2-3 times a day for a few days.
Also, you can take curcumin capsules (400 mg), three times a day but make sure you consult your doctor before taking it.
Calendula is another effective herbal remedy that can treat bunions. It is rich in potent anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce inflammation and pain.
Also, calendula can prevent the onset of calluses and corns on this part.
- Extract the juice from calendula leaves. Apply the juice on the bunion and let it dry on its own. Make sure you repeat this method 2-3 times a day.
- Also, buy some calendula ointment and apply it 2-3 times on the affected part.
5. Food Exercises
You can improve your toe flexibility and reduce the pain with some regular exercises. In this way, you will slow down the progression of the bunion and prevent any surgery.
Not only your feet will benefit from these daily exercises but also the legs and muscles.
Start in a sitting position and place a golf or tennis ball beneath the painful foot. Roll the ball whenever you feel tightness. Practice this exercise for 5-10 minutes every day.
Again, start in a sitting position but cup the sole of your foot in your palm. Interlace the fingers of your free hand with the toes of your foot. Then bend your toes upward and downward, back and forth for 5-10 minutes.
Stand up and keep your toes straight ahead for 10 seconds then curl them for another 10 seconds. Do this exercise several times.
There are many more exercises that you can do at home.
6. Epsom Salt
In the case of bunions resulting from arthritis, Epsom salt can relieve the pain. Epsom salt is packed with high amounts of magnesium which regulates the pH levels in the body and fights pain and inflammation.
A warm Epsom salt soak will effectively treat your calluses and corns, the common symptoms of bunions.
- Add a handful of Epsom salt into a small tub full of warm water.
- Soak the painful foot until the water is cold.
- After the foot is dry, massage it with warm coconut or olive oil.
- Practice this method three times per week.
7. Aspirin Foot Soak
Aspirin won’t only relieve your headache, but it can also ease the discomfort associated with bunions. It reduces the pain from the inflamed foot, keeps the affected part soft and prevents calluses and corns.
- In a small tub full of lukewarm water, dissolve 2-3 aspirins.
- Soak the foot until the water is cold.
- Dry your foot throughout and massage it with warm olive oil.
- Practice this method 1-2 times a day.
Note: Make sure you do some test before you try this method because aspirin sometimes can cause allergies and skin irritation.
When you hear chamomile, the first thing that will come to your mind is probably the soothing effect it has. In the case of bunions, chamomile is a highly effective herb that can relieve the pain.
This is due to the strong anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation, pain and it can even shrink bunions.
So, try some of these natural remedies or make a combination of them:
- Make some chamomile tea and sip it while it is still warm. Place the chamomile bag directly on the bunion. Do this 3-4 times a day.
- Every night before going to bed, massage the affected area with carrier or chamomile essential oil. In this way, you will improve the toe alignment.
- To reduce the inflammation and pain, apply some chamomile ointment directly on the bunion.
9. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
When it comes to bunions, the food plays an important role. So, it is of crucial importance to take care of the food you consume. Some foods will contribute to inflammation while other will prevent and fight inflammation.
- Pro-inflammatory foods include processed meat, red meat, whey protein, refined sugar, corn oil, eggs, refined grains and refined salt.
- Anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, olives, turmeric, ginger, tart cherries, garlic, blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and walnuts.
Along with the anti-inflammatory foods, enrich your diet with more proteins as well as food rich in vitamins A, C, E, and B complex.
10. Proper Footwear
Footwear is one important reason that can lead to the development of a bunion. So, to minimize the risk of bunions, pay attention to your footwear.
- Always choose the footwear with broad toes, wide front, and soft soles.
- Use some padded shoe inserts to distribute pressure evenly.
- When having a bunion, choose some shoes with wide and deep toe area. Sandals are always the best choice.
- Avoid shoes with a heel higher than 2 ¼ inches.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes for more than 3 hours.
- Opt for footwear that suits to the shape of your feet.
- Do not force your foot in some show that does not fit.
- Avoid tight stockings and socks.
- During the day, remove your shoes periodically.
- If your bunion gets inflamed, elevate the painful foot for 15 minutes every other hour.
- Acupuncture can effectively treat the symptoms of bunions.
- After washing the foot, dry the area between the toes well.
- When having corns, buy some corn plasters in order to remove them quickly.
- Make sure your buy your children some footwear which is properly fitted.
- For additional relief, try some over-the-counter arch supports.