bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of bone or
tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Home treatment can help relieve toe pain and may prevent a
bunion from getting worse. Home treatment includes:
Avoiding activities that put pressure on your
big toe and foot.
Don't give up exercise because of toe pain. Try
activities that don't put a lot of pressure on your foot, such as swimming or
roomy shoes that have wide and deep toe boxes (the
area that surrounds the toes), low or flat heels, and good arch supports. Avoid
tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes that put pressure on the big toe joint. For
more information, see:
Apply ice to the joint for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. Elevate your foot so that your toe is higher than your
Try bunion pads, arch supports, or custom-made supports
(orthotics) placed just behind the big toe joint on the
bottom of your foot. This redistributes your weight while you are walking and
takes pressure off your big toe. Ask your doctor to help you
choose the right kind of pads. One review of studies has shown that
compared with no treatment, orthotics reduced bunion pain after 6 months of use
but made no difference in pain after 12 months of use.1
moleskin or felt patches over or around pressure
areas, to protect the bunion from being rubbed by your
Stretch the parts of your shoes that rub on painful areas.
Look for a shoe repair shop or cobbler that stretches shoes, or ask your doctor to recommend one. You may also want to find a shoe manufacturer
that makes special or custom shoes for people with foot problems.
For children with bunions, using orthotic insoles to
correct a walk where the foot rolls inward (excessive pronation) is questionable.
Some studies show that bunions in children may not be related to
Children who have bunions should see a doctor if foot
pain is limiting their activity. In some cases, the doctor may recommend