Up to a quarter of all adults develop bunions, starting at any age. Many people take aspirin and try to suffer through. However, there are alternative methods to care for your bunion.
Bunions can be stressful, especially if you work a job that demands you be on your feet all day. They're also a hindrance to your health if you're an avid runner or climber.
Try these 8 methods of caring for your bunion without surgery.
1. Try An Ice Pack
After standing on your feet for too long, you'll find that your bunion will start to feel sore and inflamed. To take down the swelling and ease the pain, you should apply an ice pack.
The cold temperature will help to numb your nerve endings which are the cause of your pain.
If you don't have an ice pack sitting in your freezer, wrap some crushed ice in a thin cloth. Hold it for 10 minutes, then take 10 minutes off. Repeat this on and off-cycle as frequently as needed.
2. Massage the Area
If you're having trouble with finding the right care for your bunion, massage the area at the end of the day. That can enhance blood flow to that part of your foot and relieve your symptoms.
By massaging this area on a regular basis, you could see the bunion shrink over time. This will also help by making your bunion less likely to develop calluses and painful corns.
If you have some oil lying around, try applying a little bit to the area. Spend 10 minutes, a few times a day, massaging the area as deeply as you can. If you have friends who are massage therapists or work with a masseuse regularly, ask for advice.
Massage therapists will tell you the benefits include slowing down the emergence of bunions and even preventing them altogether.
3. Work It Out
Exercises can help increase the flexibility of your toes. The bone deformity that comes from bunions can be prevented by certain foot exercises. Otherwise, you could face surgery.
One exercise you can try while you're resting after work. Sit on a chair and grab the sole of your foot with your palm. Lace the fingers of your other hand between your toes and begin bending upward.
Stretch up and down, back and forth for 10 minutes every day.
Another exercise requires a golf ball or a tennis ball. Sit down on your chair with your foot on the ball. Roll it around underneath the toe you're having problems with. If you feel tightness in your sole, roll that around the ball as well.
Do this exercise for around 10 minutes per day to care for your bunion.
4. Use Epsom Salt
Pick up some Epsom salt at the store on your way home. Because of its high levels of magnesium, it helps balance the body's pH and helps to fight pain and inflammation. Epsom salt is also a well-known reliever of arthritis.
Get a nice wide bucket and fill it with warm water. Add a handful of Epsom salt and stir the mixture up.
Make a foot bath and soak your feet in for as long as it takes for the water to cool down. Dry your feet off and then add some warm oil and massage your feet. Olive or coconut oil is great for your skin.
5. Try Out Tumeric
An increasing number of holistic treatments are now taking advantage of the healing power of turmeric. Because it contains the compound curcumin, it can help relieve pain as you care for your bunion.
This is a solution that can be applied topically or taken orally.
Make a paste with oil and a small amount of powder. Rub it into the area that's affected a few times a day. Use this treatment for about a week and see if it helps.
There are also turmeric supplements out on the market. They typically come in 400 mg tabs. Check with your doctor first if you're taking other medications.
Another option is to add turmeric to milk or a glass of water. Stir in a single teaspoon, twice a day.
6. Chamomile Treatments
Chamomile is well known as an effective plant for anti-inflammatory treatments. As a way to care for your bunion, you'll find that it's effective in reducing bunion size.
Chamomile tea might be the easiest and tastiest way to treat your bunion. After you steep your tea, save the tea bag and press it directly on your bunion. You'll see some results if you do this a few times a day.
If you can find an ointment in your local drugstore that contains chamomile, try that. Apply it to your bunion as directed by the label or the pharmacist.
Chamomile oil added to another type of tea or beverage can be taken before bed.
7. Massage with Marigold
Marigold leaves or calendula has similar anti-inflammatory potency as chamomile does. Application to your feet as you care for your bunion can keep calluses and corns from developing.
Leaves can be crushed by hand, with the extract then rubbed on the bunion. Otherwise, many herbalists sell different sorts of calendula ointments that can be applied a few times daily.
8. Aid With Aspirin
Just like any other kind of pain relief, you can always take aspirin. There are alternatives if you don't like taking pills.
Crush a few aspirins and add to a tub of warm water. Take a foot bath, similar to how you would with Epsom salt. Dry off after a while and massage with warm oil once or twice a day.
Some people have sensitive skin, so pay attention to any irritation that might develop after this kind of treatment.
Care For Your Bunion The Natural Way
If the idea of taking downtime after bunion surgery isn't right for you, try some of these alternative methods. Caring for your bunion can help heal without surgery.
If you find your movement begin to limit your health and well-being, consult your doctor. If you have any questions about alternative methods for bunion care, consider a Bunion Sleeve® today.