Don’t let a painful bunion prevent you from comfortably walking or exercising. Below, we describe four simple ways to alleviate some of the pain experienced by your bunion.
- Soothe the sore joint. Looking for a quick way to alleviate the soreness of a bunion? Try icing the sore joint for immediate relief. Taking aspirin can also help; we recommend a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug like Advil or Motrin.
- Choose the right shoes. The key to bunion prevention and relief is choosing the right shoes. Look for footwear with a wide, flexible sole, as this will help support the foot. Your shoe should have enough room in the area of the toe box to accommodate the bunion (no tight shoes!) and a sturdy back that effectively keeps the heel of your foot in place. Avoid heels that are higher than an inch, and consider stretching your current pair to make more room for the bunion.
- Add padding to your shoes. A padded shoe can do wonders for your bunion. Typically, padding is made out of moleskin or gel-filled pads, which help to relieve pressure on the bunion. And when there’s less pressure on the sore, there will naturally be less pain.
- Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. A professional can provide you with long-term options for comfort and pain relief. After an evaluation of your bunion, a podiatrist can recommend the best solution for you, whether it be cortisone injections to relieve inflammation, surgery to realign the joint, custom-fitted shoe inserts to stabilize the foot, or ultrasound therapy.
Why Do I Get Bunions?
Understanding why you’ve developed bunions can help you better prevent them from getting worse or reoccurring. Common sources of bunions are:
- Uneven legs: Estimates suggest that around 85% of people have legs that are different lengths. When both of your legs aren’t the same length, it can cause an uneven gait, which could ultimately lead to the development of a bunion.
- Genetics: The structure and shape of your feet are hereditary, which means bunions can be genetic. People who are flat-footed, as well as those with low arches or loose joints / tendons are at a higher risk of developing a bunion.
- Pregnancy: The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can loosen ligaments and flatten the feet. The result could be a bunion or other type of foot problem.
- Occupation: If your job requires you to stand or walk more than normal, you could be more susceptible to developing a bunion. Occupations that carry a higher risk for bunions include nursing, waiting tables, teaching, and dancing.
Suffering from a bunion? Put your feet in our hands! Contact a Seattle podiatrist at our office to schedule a consultation.