10 Natural Ways to Treat Your Bunions at Home
Do you have this weird, bony bump at the base of your big toe? Well, that’s a bunion. It appears when your body’s weight keeps falling unevenly on your foot joints and tendons.
The added pressure increases the size of the joint, making it drastically more noticeable than before.
Even though it can develop in anyone regardless of the gender, women are usually more prone to bunions.
According to scientists, the development of this bone deformity is linked to wearing tight, too-narrowed, or high-heeled shoes. Also, it can be caused by foot injuries, inherited foot type, foot deformities present at birth, and even some types of arthritis.
Besides the big size, bunions are usually painful, especially while walking. The pain appears as a result of reduced flexibility of the big toe.
Besides pain, other symptoms are joint redness, skin irritation, blisters at the affected area, corns or calluses, and sometimes even shifting of the big toe toward the rest of the toes.
What’s more, bunions can get worse over time, so it’s important to treat them correctly to prevent them from increasing and causing even bigger deformity. In severe cases, it can require even a surgery.
You may not be able to reverse the bone deformity caused by bunions, but you can reduce its symptoms and prevent it from worsening with the following natural treatments.
10 Home Treatments to Reduce the Symptoms of Bunions Naturally
1. Ice Packs
After being on foot for too long, your bunion gets sore and inflamed. So, to reduce the inflammation and pain, applying an ice pack on your foot is just ideal.
The cold temperature will relieve the pain by temporarily numbing the nerve endings.
- Wrap a handful of crushed ice in a thin cloth or towel and apply it on the painful area. Let it stay for 5-10 minutes, make a pause for 10 minutes and do the same thing 2-3 more times. Do this natural treatment as needed.
A good way to treat and prevent bunions is to massage this area. Massages boost the blood flow in this area, relieving the symptoms.
If you massage this area regularly, you can even shrink the bunion’s size and make it less prone to corns and calluses.
Do deep-friction massage using your fingers and some olive, castor, or coconut oil. Massage for ten minutes, two or three times a day. It’s best to consult an experienced massage therapist to prevent and slow down the development of bunions.
3. Foot Exercises
Foot exercises are usually helpful for improving the flexibility of toes. Moreover, it can slow down the progression of the bone deformity known as bunion, and prevent possible surgery.
For the first exercise you need a golf or tennis ball. Sit on a chair and place your affected foot on the ball. Then, roll it beneath the toe mound and the entire sole where you feel tightness. This should last for 5-10 minutes every day.
Sit on a chair and cup the affected sole in your palm, interlacing the fingers of the opposite hand between your toes. Then, start bending your toes upward and downward, back and forth, for 5-10 minutes, daily.
Start in a standing position with your toes pointing straight ahead for about ten seconds. After that, curl your toes under for another ten seconds. Do this exercise a few times.
You can consult an expert for more foot exercises.
4. Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt foot bath will help relieve bunion symptoms caused by arthritis. Epsom salt is high in magnesium which helps balance the body’s pH levels. This, in turn, is crucial for fighting pain and inflammation.
What’s more, soaking your feet in this bath will also treat corns and calluses.
- Stir in a handful of Epsom salt into some warm water. Put your feet in the water and let them soak until the water cools completely. Pat dry your feet and apply some warm coconut or olive oil and massage gently. Repeat this Epsom salt soak three times weekly.
Thanks to its active compound, curcumin, turmeric can help reduce inflammation and block pain. You can use it both, orally and topically.
- One option is to make a paste using a bit of olive oil and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Apply the paste directly on the affected area two or three times a day. Do this treatment for a few days.
- Another option is to use it orally. Drink a glass of lukewarm milk or water mixed with one teaspoon of turmeric, twice a day.
- As an alternative, you can take turmeric as a supplement. Even though the recommended dose is 400 milligrams curcumin capsules, it’s best to consult a doctor for the right dosage for you.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile make this plant an effective remedy for bunions. Besides helping to relieve inflammation and pain, chamomile also helps reduce the size of bunions.
Here are some remedies to try for your bunion. You can even combine them.
- Drink a cup of warm chamomile tea and don’t throw away the used tea bag. Use it to put it directly on your bunion. Repeat 3-4 times daily.
- Another way is to use chamomile oil in a combination with some carrier oil. Use this oil mixture to massage the affected area before bedtime. Regular massage will help improve your toe alignment.
- As an alternative, use any over-the-counter ointment whose content includes chamomile. Apply it on your bunion to relieve inflammation and pain.
Calendula, or marigold, provides potent anti-inflammatory effects which help relieve inflammation and pain. You can even use it to prevent corns and calluses from developing on the affected area.
- Extract the juice from calendula leaves by gently crushing them with your hands. Rub the extracted juice on the painful area and let it dry naturally. Do this treatment two or three times a day.
- Another option is to apply calendula ointment bought from a herbal store. Do this two or three times a day for a few days.
8. Aspirin Foot Soak
That’s right. A regular aspirin can help relieve bunion symptoms, especially the stinging pain. What’s more, it helps maintain the affected area soft, thus preventing the formation of corns and calluses.
- Fill a small tub with lukewarm water and dissolve two or three aspirins. Then, put your foot in the water and let it soak until the water becomes cold. Use a towel to pat your foot dry and then apply some warm olive oil. Massage your foot gently. Do this once or twice per day.
Note: Your skin might be sensitive to aspirin so make sure you do a patch test before trying it out.
9. Proper Footwear
You must pay more attention to your footwear if you like to prevent bunions as well as surgery to get rid of them.
- Choose footwear with broad toes, wide front, and soft soles.
- Make sure the pressure from your body weight is distributed evenly to both feet by using padded shoe inserts.
- Sandals and other footwear with wide and deep toe area are great for those with bunions.
- Avoid wearing 2¼ “+ high heels
- Avoid wearing high-heels for longer than 3 hours.
- Always buy shoes that fit your foot shape.
- Don’t force your feet into footwear that doesn’t comfort to your foot shape.
- Also, avoid wearing tight-fitting stockings and socks.
- Give your feet a break by taking your shoes off few times a day.
10. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Your diet is another important part of the bunion treatment. Make sure you eat plenty of foods with anti-inflammatory properties to help fight and prevent inflammation.
- Good examples of foods with anti-inflammatory properties are salmon, olives, garlic, ginger, strawberries, tart cherries, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and blueberries. Make sure you add at least some of them to your daily diet.
- Besides eating the right foods, you should also try to avoid those which promote inflammation. These include processed meat, red meat, eggs, refined sugar, refined salt, whey protein, refined grains, and corn oil.
- It is also good to increase your intake of protein-rich foods, as well as those high in vitamin B complex, A, E, and C.
- Keep the affected foot raised for 10-15 minutes every other hour if your bunion gets inflamed
- Try considering acupuncture to treat the bunion symptoms
- Always dry the area between your toes after washing your feet
- Buy over-the-counter corn plasters to eliminate your corns
- Make sure your child is always wearing well-fitted footwear
- Alternatively, relieve your bunion symptoms using over-the-counter arch supports
- Use any orthotic device prescribed by your doctor