How to Treat Bunions

Earlier this month, we talked about how to prevent bunions. But what if you’re one of the four million Americans who already have bunions? A bunion is frequently a form of arthritis, and it usually takes the form of a bony bump on the outside of your big toe.

Although wearing high heels or other ill-fitting shoes can make you susceptible to developing bunions, they are mostly hereditary. Bad shoes just hurt your feet and make the pain of bunions worse. If you have bunions, talk with a leg and foot specialist about a solution to treat the pain. In the meantime, the best ways to lessen the pain quickly include:

  • Soak the foot, or feet, in a mixture of one cup vinegar to one gallon warm water.
  • Apply ice to the area multiple times a day.
  • Pad the insides of shoes with moleskin or foam rubber cut into a doughnut shape (line up the hole with the bunion).
  • Switch to shoes with a bigger toe box, or, open-toed sandals.

If your bunion is still fairly moderate, your doctor may prescribe orthotics (insoles) and may recommend exercises that stabilize the foot and prevent further development of bunions. Outpatient surgery may be needed, however, in more serious cases.