There is much debate over whether wearing high heels contributes to the formation of bunions or not, however, wearing tight, pointy shoes with a heel after you’ve got them certainly won’t do you any favours! Try to wear wider shoes with a low heel and soft sole to prevent rubbing and aggravating your bunions.
Take some time when you are shopping for shoes because it’s important that you get ones that are comfortable for you. There are many orthopaedic shoe shops that sell shoes specifically designed for various foot problems that could be worth investigating. You might also want to consider bunion pads to place inside your shoes to stop them from rubbing on your bunion.
A topical pain relief gel like Atrogel can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the bunion. Simply apply onto unbroken skin and gently massage in. Atrogel contains Arnica which is traditionally used for the relief of muscle and joint pain and is still used for pain relief today.
Ice constricts blood vessels which can help to numb the nerve endings to provide relief from the pain, inflammation and swelling that bunions can cause. Hold an ice pack onto the bunion for up to 5 minutes at a time.
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Foot exercises are a great way to stretch out the toes and to maintain mobility in the toe joint, as well as prevent your bunions from getting worse. Check out these three easy bunion-relief exercises below.
1) Gently take hold of your big toe and rotate it in as large a circle as is comfortable in a clockwise and then anticlockwise direction. Be careful if you have painful arthritis, as this exercise could aggravate your symptoms.
2) Try picking up marbles with your toes; this is a great exercise you can try to keep your foot flexible. Place some marbles on the floor in front of you and use your toes to pick up the marbles one at a time and place them in a bowl.
3) Walk along a beach as this can give you a gentle foot massage while you also spend some time developing strength in the toes. If you have arthritis this is an especially beneficial exercise you can try.
When to seek help
Although bunion pain and symptoms can be eased naturally, unfortunately, the only way to get rid of bunions entirely is by surgery. If your bunion pain or symptoms appear to be getting worse, it might be time to seek the medical advice of a GP practitioner, particularly if it begins to impair your walking ability.