Bunions are large, bony growths that stick out to the side at the base of the big toe and top of the foot. They typically cause the toes to start growing out sideways, opposite the bunion. This can cause major pain and discomfort to those wishing to wear closed-toe shoes. Women are more prone to bunions, which can be caused by a myriad of abnormalities: arthritis, poor foot mechanics, improper foot function (e.g. ballerinas dancing on pointe), flat feet, and shoes that are too tight, for example. A bunionette is a similar bone growth, but occurring on the side of the pinkie toe, pushing the toes in the opposite direction. A bunion or bunionette may result in hammertoe, or, a deformity of the toes in which they begin to curl up or curl under each other.
Bunions form because the joint between the big toe and metatarsal bone (the bone in the foot right behind the big toe) push away from each other unnaturally over an extended period of time. Because this is more than just a cosmetic issue, rather, an actual change in the bone formation of the foot, the only cure for bunions is surgery, which shaves down the bone growth and repositions the rest of the toes. However, many natural remedies and precautions can be employed to reduce pain, swelling, and reverse the bunion. Going barefoot or switching to flat shoes (vs. heels) with a natural toe (vs. pointy) is a good place to start. Many times, the culprit of bunions are point heeled shoes which turn the toes in an unnatural position.
Try using bunion-relieving insoles, such as the Sole Ultra Softec Series, which are heat-moldable and super soft. The Sole Ultra Softec insoles, when worn inside of roomy, flat shoes, will reduce pain, inflammation, and worsening of bunions. Orthopedic shoes such as the Altra Women’s Torin will provide the feet with enough room and cushioning to reduce bunion pain and swelling.
Remember, bunions are progressive, meaning they get worse over time. Their worsening can be slowed down or stopped, but not completely reversed unless you have surgery (bunionectomy). Have you ever suffered from bunions? If so, what method(s) did you employ to reduce pain or treat your bunion?