Bunions can be a pain in the…well, foot. More often than not a bunion will require surgery, but there are ways to minimize the amount of pain in the meantime. However, if you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a podiatrist?” then you probably do.
What Is a Bunion? A Quick Overview
Hallux valgus, more commonly referred to as a bunion, occur after years of pressure on the joint of the big toe force it to bend inwards, jutting the base of the joint outward in a very painful manner. As time goes on, the bulge enlarges and eventually becomes a daily nuisance. Certain shoes become too painful to wear, walking becomes an arduous task, and you have a very unflattering growth on your foot. Bunion deformities are quite common, afflicting between one-quarter to one-third of American adults, and can be hard to live with.
How to Treat a Bunion at Home
While surgery is ultimately the best option to help get you on your feet again, you can use these methods to help soothe some of the pain.
- Stay Healthy: Being healthy helps with any affliction, allowing your body to focus on the one rather than multiple. In this case, however, being healthy primarily refers to your weight. Keeping a healthy weight will help the pain stay at a minimal level. The heavier you get, the more weight you put on the bunions and the more painful it can be.
- Use Shoe Inserts: Orthotic inserts can help keep the foot in the correct position and help relieve some of the pressure on your bunions. These can be found at most drugstores and can be a huge asset.
- Take Medication: If you haven’t received any prescription medication from your doctor, you can take any NSAID. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include medications such as ibuprofen, Motrin, aspirin, or Advil. They can help reduce the swelling and alleviate some of the pain.
- Spa Days: Treating your feet to warm soaks, massages, and the occasional ice pack can be a great way to ease the pain (and relax).
If your foot pain becomes too severe and/or daily tasks become to difficult to complete, you should contact your doctor right away. Remember, if you’re asking yourself “do I need a podiatrist?” then you definitely do.