Foot pain may sound like a minor condition but it can dramatically reduce the quality of your life. One of the most common causes of foot pain is a bunion.
What are Bunions?
A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the side of your foot where the base of your big toe joins the foot. A bunion occurs when your big toe pushes up against your other toes. This forces the joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of your foot.
Over time, the stress enlarges your big toe joint and pushes the big toe even closer to your smaller toes, which causes pain. Bunions frequently form in early adulthood and worsen with age, especially if accompanied by arthritis.
Who is most likely to develop a bunion?
You may be at risk for bunions if:
- Either of your parents had bunions
- You’re a woman (women have a 50% chance of getting bunions)
- You are or were a dancer
- You have suffered a foot injury
- You wear tight, narrow high-heeled shoes
- You have arthritis in your feet
There are several home remedies that you can apply to address this pain:
- Foot soak – Soaking your feet is an easy way to get temporary relief from bunion pain. All you need is a clean basin, a few tablespoons of Epsom salt, and lukewarm water. Fill the basin with enough water to cover your ankles and soak for five to 15 minutes.
- Cold compress – If the bunion is painful and inflamed, you can receive relief by applying an ice pack for between 15 and 20 minutes several times a day. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin, wrap the ice in a cloth or tea towel first. A bag of frozen vegetables can act as a good ice pack.
- Bunion braces and splints – These support devices can help stabilize the foot and correct the placement of the toes. They will help straighten your toe and reduce the size of the bunion.
- Pain relief medicines – Medicine will not prevent or cure bunions. But it may relieve pain and inflammation and allow you to get back to your normal daily activities.
Bunion pain can usually be alleviated with over the counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
- Topical analgesics – This is a quick and easy way to lessen bunion pain. There are a variety of topical pain relief gels and creams available over the counter.
Many of these products contain menthol that causes a cooling sensation. Some products also temporarily block pain signals to areas where it is applied.
If you’re tired of using do-it-yourself remedies for treating your bunions Jean Brown Research’s bunion clinical trial offers bunion removal for participation in the study. Bunion removal is free of cost to the participant you may receive compensation for time and travel.
If you are interested in finding out if you could be a candidate for free bunion removal, fill out the study form on our bunions study web page or call us directly at 801-261-8000.