Article in Body and Soul
I’m developing painful bunions. What can I do to minimise the discomfort?
Bunions are a fairly common condition of the foot where there is overcrowding of the big and second toes causing the classic bunion ‘‘bump’’ on the side of the foot.
The deformity is caused by a structural change in the bones of the foot and is often an inherited condition, meaning that it runs in families.
Although it tends to get worse with time you can reduce discomfort by following these strategies:
Change your footwear — opt for shoes with a wide toe and avoid wearing high heels.
Use padding — pads placed over the bunion can help reduce pain.
Avoid standing for long periods of time.
Take anti-inflammatories — medications, such as ibuprofen, may help reduce pain and inflammation but they should not be used long term.
Apply ice packs several times a day helps reduce inflammation.
Use orthotics — custom orthotic devices made by a trained physiotherapist or podiatrist.
Changing footwear, minimising standing for long periods and wearing orthotic devices may help to slow the progression of bunions but won’t cure them. More severe cases require surgery.