Whether you rock knee-high boots or want to increase your height with stilettos, you won’t be able to walk properly if you develop that nasty bump, which juts out at the base of your big toe.
Doctors call it hallux valgus. We simply know it as a bunion.
Your big toe’s side naturally curves only a little. But, if there’s a bony bump that causes constant and severe pain when walking or wearing your favorite tight-fitted shoes, then it’s called a bunion.
Bunions occur through years of abnormal pressure and motion on your joints that force your big toe to bend toward or even move on top of its neighboring toe.
Blame The Stilettos?
There are several theories as to how bunions develop. However, the exact cause is still unknown. Factors often include deformities present at birth, inherited foot type or foot injuries, or stress.
This means that while bunions often run in families, they can also be the result of the shoes you wear and the way you walk.
According to experts at Northwest Surgery Center, women tend to develop bunions more often than men, particularly as they get older. Also, people with arthritis or stiff joints seem to be more prone to having bunions and can develop pain earlier.
Alleviating Your Bunions: 5 Treatments To Try
Switch Your Shoes
You might stop wearing your fancy boots for a while, but this might be all you need to shrink your bunion and manage bunion pain.
Consult your doctor and they can help you choose the right shoes for you. In general, though, the perfect shoes for bunion relief offer lots of room for your toes with heels that are lower than 2 inches.
High heels tend to place pressure on the front of your foot and may cause bunions and other foot issues. Also, you want to stay away from shoes that are pointed, tight, or crowd your toes.
Add Some Padding
Did you know that there are special pads you can use for alleviating bunions? These pads cushion the area near the bump that hurts. Make sure to test the pad or talk to your doctor first.
If you get a wrong-sized pad, it can add unnecessary pressure on your big toe and cause more issues.
Cool It Down
Ice has been a staple medical treatment for easing pain and swelling, and that includes puffy bunions. Wrap a bag of crushed ice in a towel and place it on your bunion for 20 minutes or less. This should help alleviate the pain of your protruding bump. Just don’t overdo it. Your foot has less muscle and tissue, making it prone to ice burn.
If you’re an office worker who’s always on your high heels or if it is caused by arthritis or other joint problems, then you might need a quick way to alleviate pain. OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can provide quick relief.
If you just can’t take the pain and ugly bump anymore, then your doctor might suggest surgery in order to straighten out your big toe.
Bunions are not only ugly, but they can also limit your flexibility and mobility. While bunions can be inherited or the result of years of stress, there are certain ways to ease the pain and possibly shrinking or removing it altogether.