Bunions can be painful. I know many women who suffer from this painful and irritating condition. Honestly, I understand them. Nowadays, it seems like high heels are the standard for everything. And wearing high heels and tight shoes can’t be comfortable – at least not for long hours. Eventually, your feet will crack under the pressure.
Bunions are actually a foot deformity that looks like a bump on the side of the big toe. And if you thought they were harmless, keep in mind that bunions can actually change the layout of the bones in the foot. Doctors usually prescribe medication for bunions, and they may even recommend you undergo surgery to fix the problem. However, since I am a huge supporter of natural remedies and doing things in a natural manner, I would like to recommend some natural solutions.
What are Bunions?
Before we get to the remedies, let’s briefly discuss what bunions are. Characterized as a “deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot,” bunions are often described as a medical deviation of the first metatarsal bone and the lateral deviation. That’s the medical explanation. As I said before, bunions look like bumps on the side of the big toe.
The medical community disagrees about what causes bunions. Some say they are caused by long-term use of high heels or tight-fitting shoes with pointed toes. Others believe genetics play a role. But it is certain that they appear when pressure is applied to the side of the big toe. This forces the toe inwards, under, or over other toes.
Symptoms and Causes
Before the bump on the side appears, you’ll feel other symptoms. Here are some early symptoms of bunions:
- Irritated skin around the area where the bunion appears
- Pain when walking
- Pain and redness in the joints
- Blisters forming around the side of the bunion
If you feel persistent pain at the big toe, and you have trouble walking, it might be time to check with the doctor. And if he suggests surgery, try to solve the problem with natural remedies first. Some risk factors for bunions include:
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heredity (inherited structural foot defect)
And while they do not cause severe problems, bunions can sometimes lead to complications like:
- Hammertoe, an abnormal bend that occurs in the middle joint of the toe
- Metatarsalgia, a condition causing pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot
- Bursitis, a painful condition in which your cushion bones, muscles near the joints, and tendons become inflamed
That being said, let’s take a look at some natural remedies for bunions.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest things you can add to your diet. Consuming olive oil on a daily basis has numerous health benefits. But this oil is also good for your skin. In terms of bunions, you can massage the area after warming the oil. Start with the bunion area, but also massage your toes and foot.
Keep massaging your feet for about 15 minutes. Repeat two times per day: once in the morning, and once in the evening. This will improve the circulation of your feet, enabling the synovial fluid to move freely around your bones and joints. The main purpose of this massage is to dissolve the bunion’s excess calcium and help the area heal on its own.
Another healthy ingredient you can use for bunions is red pepper. Consume this magic ingredient to get your daily dose of capsaicin, one of the healthiest antioxidants. When you massage the affected area, you actually reap the benefits of capsaicin. The compound eliminates pain and discomfort in your feet.
For this remedy, cut one pepper in half and rub the area with it. The juice from the red pepper will help the area heal. After rubbing the area, add some petroleum jelly and cover the area with a bandage. Repeat two times per day, and remember to wash your hands after the treatment.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil is tailor-made for treating bunions. Not only does it reduce pain, but castor oil helps eliminate swelling as well.
As with olive oil, you need to heat up the castor oil before applying it to the affected area. However, with castor oil, dip a thin cloth in the oil and then wrap it around the bunion area. Cover the cloth with a towel. This will prevent the heat from leaving the area. Let the cloth stay on your bunions for 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove. Repeat the procedure three times per day to stimulate blood flow, circulation, and relieve soreness in the feet.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which is the mineral we need for muscle soreness and pain. Magnesium helps minimize pain from bunions and also reduces inflammation.
For this remedy, you need ½ cup of Epsom salt. Dissolve it in a small bowl of hot water and then soak your feet for 20 minutes. Repeat two times per day.
Like any other swelling, bunions can be treated with ice. Get ice, or frozen food, and wrap it in a towel. Apply cold pressure directly on the bunion, and keep it there for 10 minutes. Repeat a few times per day to reduce swelling.
I would also like to share some tips with you. These tricks and tips will help prevent bunions from forming on your feet. Protect your body, and your body will return the favour. One of the worst parts about bunions is that they make it difficult to find shoes that fit. Sometimes, people solve this “problem” by buying larger size shoes. And that is the worst mistake you can make. Without further ado, here are some bonus tips for preventing bunions:
- Maintain a normal weight to reduce pressure and stress on the feet.
- Wear warm socks.
- When shopping for footwear, look for well-fitting shoes that are wide in the toe area.
- If you want, you can buy shoe inserts that will keep your foot in the correct position.
- You can also wear a splint at night that will help you hold the toe straight.
- Last, but not least, here are some bunions exercise you can try and do on a regular basis, courtesy of YouTube.