Bunion Pain? Here’s 5 Ways to Find Relief

May 30, 2024 / Podiatry

By Dr. Robert Greene
Division of Podiatry

Ouch! If you’ve ever had a bunion, you know they can be quite painful. Bunions form when the bone or tissue at the bottom of the big toe moves out of place, creating a bulge. The joint can become so stiff and sore that it can become painful to walk or find comfortable footwear.

Bunions frequently develop because of tight shoes, stress on your foot, arthritis, as well as genetic factors. It’s a good idea to get your bunion looked at by a podiatrist if you develop one. Taking some simple steps can help prevent the development of more serious problems, such as bursitis or hammertoe. The following non-surgical methods have been proven to help bunion sufferers:

  1. Update your footwear. Choose low-heeled, comfortable shoes that offer enough space for your toes and the widest part of your foot. Wearing tight shoes, especially high heels, will make a bunion worse.
  2. Protect the bunion with a moleskin or a gel-filled pad. This should lower pain and make walking easier.
  3. Use shoe inserts to help position your foot correctly. Both over-the-counter arch supports or prescription orthotics can help lower pain.
  4. Use ice for relief. Especially after a long day on your feet, applying ice can help decrease both soreness and inflammation.
  5. Stabilize and support the affected toe by using a spacer, tape, padding, or splinting. This can help prevent your symptoms from worsening. Talk to your podiatrist to see what method makes sense for you.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can also help control swelling and discomfort. If your bunion continues to be painful, cortisone injections may help or, as a last resort, surgery may be required. Non-surgical methods are always the first choice for dealing with bunion pain.

Bunion Pain? Here’s 5 Ways to Find Relief

About Robert Greene, DPM

Having plantar warts as a teenager helped inspire Dr. Robert Greene to become a podiatrist. “I had some trouble getting rid of warts when I was a teenager,” he explains. “Fortunately, I went to see a podiatrist and he had a successful treatment. The podiatrist golfed at the country club I worked at and I became good friends with him, even working for a time at his office. He really got me interested in podiatry as a...

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