While some bunions will not show any symptoms, many will start becoming red, swollen, and painful. The pain can be too much making it hard to wear a shoe or even walk. Wearing shoes with high heels or with a poor fit can make things worse.

You will need to have surgery to completely remove the bunions, but a study has shown that there are some things you can do to manage the symptoms and prevent things from getting worse.

15 tips to manage bunions

  1. Wearing the right shoes. You should always choose the right footwear. They should not be too tight, and the toe area should also be wide. If you wear shoes with heels try keeping them lower than one to two inches. The shoes should provide good support for the arch of the foot.
  2. Avoiding flip-flops. You should stay away from footwear like flip-flops because they don’t have arch support for the foot, and this results in extra pressure being put on the big toe joint.
  3. Knowing your measurements. When shopping for shoes, ask the salesperson to take width and length measurements of your foot so you can be able to choose a shoe that has a good fit.
  4. You should choose shoes by looking at comfort and not the number. Different companies can size shoes differently. You should not be fixated on your shoe number, just choose one that is comfortable.
  5. Using inserts in the shoes, to make sure the foot is properly aligned and the arch has support. You can decide to get the ones in drugstores or you can have prescription orthotics made for you.
  6. Stretching your toes. Removing your shoes and wiggling your toes any chance you get whether at work or home can help in reducing pressure on your toes.
  7. Spacing your toes out. Using toe spaces when sleeping or even when wearing shoes can help in reducing pressure.
  8. Cushioning the bunions. Covering the bunions using moleskin or bunion pads will help in relieving the pressure and making the shoes less likely to irritate the bunions.
  9. Soaking feet in warm water containing Epsom salt will help. It will soothe and reduce inflammation.
  10. Icing the foot. Using ice packs on bunions will help in reducing the swelling and inflammation anytime you feel like the bunions have become sore.
  11. Taking NSAID pain relievers. Taking drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen can help in reducing pain and inflammation.
  12. Elevate the feet. Elevating the feet when you sit down because it will help in reducing the swelling and pain.
  13. Rest the feet. Resting the feet many times a day, especially days when you have been walking or standing for long.
  14. Keep your toes flexible. To keep the toe flexible and the tissues soft, massage the foot and move the big toe around using your finger. Another way of massaging is rolling a tennis ball under the foot.
  15. Doing foot exercises. People who have bunions and weak foot muscles tend to experience more pain and problems walking. Some exercises can help in strengthening the foot muscles;

Put your foot on the floor and ensure the front and the back are in contact with the floor, lift the toes. Hold them up for five seconds then release.

With the forefoot and heel on the floor, lift the toes then start spreading them. Push the little toe towards the floor, then move the big one towards the inside of the foot. Hold it like that for 5 seconds then release.

With the feet flat on the ground and the knees bent, try lifting the heels while you press down with the big toe. Hold for 5 secs then release.

You should not be wearing anything on your foot when doing these exercises. Do the exercises over and over until you are tired? You can easily do these exercises while sitting down, standing on one foot, or standing on both feet. You should choose a position you find comfortable then advance once you feel you can do more, Try doing these exercises daily.

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