What is a Bunion?
If you suffer from bunions, you will know that it can be a very uncomfortable and often painful issue making movement extremely difficult. Fortunately we are here to help with a number of natural, home remedies that many people have found to be effective.
A bunion is a bony bump which occurs near the base of your big toe at the point it connects to the foot. A bunion can develop when pressure inflicted by the weight of your body is unevenly distributed with excessive pressure falling on the joint. This causes the joint of your big toe to become larger making it stick out unnaturally.
While bunions are fairly common and anybody is prone, women are more at risk of developing them than their male counterparts.
What Causes Bunions?
There are several possible causes of bunions :
- Footwear : Wearing poorly fitted shoes especially tight or high heeled shoes are the main causes of bunions
- Birth Deformities
Symptoms of a Bunion
The main symptoms of a bunion include the following:
- Pain when walking.
- Reduced flexibility in the big toe.
- Skin irritation around the location of the bunion.
Home Remedies for a Bunion
Bunions tend to get progressively worse over a period of time. There are no natural treatments that can correct the bone deformity but many can ease your pain and other symptoms. Unfortunately, in severe cases more intrusive surgery may be necessary to correct the issue.
1) Ice – Cold Compress
People with a bunion who have spent a lot of time on their feet often find it makes the condition worse with the bunion and surrounding area becoming inflamed and sore. This inflammation and pain can be treated effectively and easily with ice treatment. The very cold temperature can give you some relief by numbing the nerves and reducing the swelling.
- Take a handful of ice cubes or crushed ice and wrap them in a cloth or thin towel.
- Place the compress directly onto your bunion and hold it in place for around 10 minutes.
- Remove the compress and let your foot rest for around 10 minutes.
- Repeat the process 2 or 3 times with a break in between.
- Use this remedy whenever you feel the need but make sure the ice does not directly contact your skin.
2) Epsom Salt
A foot soak made with Epsom salt can provide a great deal of pain relief and help to ease inflammation. Epsom salt is high in magnesium which can help to regulate the body’s pH levels which helps to fight pain and inflammation.
Soaking your foot in an Epsom salt solution can also help relieve many of the other associated symptoms such as corns, blisters and calluses.
- Fill a tub or bowl with warm water.
- Add half a cup of Epsom salt and stir it in thoroughly.
- Soak your foot or feet in the warm water until it is cold.
- Gently dry your foot and then massage some warm coconut or olive oil into the toe.
- Repeat the procedure several time a week.
Chamomile is another popular herbal remedy with a great deal of uses including the treatment of bunions. Chamomile is well-known for its calming qualities but it can also help relieve pain and sooth inflammation. There are several ways to use the herb topically to treat your bunion.
- Brew up a cup of chamomile tea with a tea bag.
- Drink up the tea but you can make use of the tea bag to treat your bunion.
- Remove the tea bag and apply it directly to the affected toe and hold it in place for 15 minutes.
- Repeat several times daily.
Alternatively, you can massage your affected toe with chamomile essential oil. Chamomile essential oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve your symptoms. First make sure that you dilute your essential oil with a suitable carrier oil like olive or coconut oil. Massage the oil gently into your bunion twice every day whenever you are feeling soreness.
Turmeric has excellent health properties and finds its way onto numerous home remedy lists. Its reputation as a home remedy is well deserved and research has repeatedly demonstrated that its active ingredient – curcumin is full of health properties. Curcumin helps to block pain naturally as well as reduce inflammation. It can be applied topically or taken in supplementary form.
- Add half a teaspoon of your turmeric powder to a little water and olive oil.
- Mix it up well until you have a nice smooth paste.
- Apply the paste directly to your bunion and let it sit for a while before washing it off.
- Repeat this treatment several times a day.
5) Aspirin Soak
When you think of aspirin, you usually think of the headache remedy that you take orally but it can be used topically to deal with pain and inflammation. It can also help keep the skin soft which prevents calluses and corns.
- Fill a tub with warm water then dissolve 2 or 3 aspirin tablets in the water.
- Soak your foot or feet in the warm solution for a while until the water gets cold.
- Dry gently then massage your feet with coconut or olive oil.
- Repeat the process every day.
Note that aspirin can cause irritation to the skin in sensitive people so it is best to perform a patch test to make sure you are not sensitive to it.
Calendula or marigold is another excellent topical remedy for bunions. It has excellent natural anti-inflammatory actions and is known to help fight pain.
- Take a handful of calendula leaves and crush them up.
- Extract as much juice as possible from the leaves.
- Apply the calendula juice directly to the bunion and the surrounding areas.
- Let it sit and dry of its own accord.
- Repeat the treatment several times each day.
Alternatively, you can use calendula essential oil as a healing massage. Make sure that you dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin.
7) Essential Oil Massage
A massage of the bunion and the surrounding areas is a great way of alleviating your symptoms. A massage with an essential oil adds even more therapeutic value to the massage. Many essential oils are perfect for bunions because of their anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. A regular massage will also help improve the circulation of blood to the toes.
- Dilute your chosen oil with a carrier oil.
- Massage the solution gently into the affected part of your foot.
- Repeat once or twice a day.
8) Foot Exercises for Bunions
Exercising the affected foot can help ease pain and improve flexibility in the toe. It can also help to slow the bunion’s progression and may prevent the need of surgical intervention.
There are several effective foot exercises you can do to help treat your bunion symptoms….
Sit comfortably on a chair and put your foot on a tennis ball or a similar sized ball. Roll your foot over the ball paying attention to the toe mounds. Perform this exercise daily for 10 minutes or so.
Sit comfortably and cup your sole of your foot in your hand. Interlace your fingers on your other hand between your toes. Bend your toes backwards and forwards then up and down for 10 minutes or so each day.
Either sit up straight or stand up with your toes pointed straight out. Then curl your toes under for about 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise several times a day.
9) Wear Good Footwear
Many people get a great deal of relief from simply wearing a pair of wider shoes. This will allow more wiggle room for your toes and remove the pressure from your big toe. It also improves circulation and your helps your motion and can help prevent the deformity from worsening.
People suffering from bunions are advised not to wear heels higher than a few inches. They should also not wear shoes that are too tight, short or pointed.
Shoe inserts and bunion pads may also improve your foot’s positioning and take some off the weight off the toes.