Skip to content

Bunions

Font Size

Home Treatment

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 bicycling.
  • Wearing 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.
    actionset.gif Foot Problems: Finding the Right Shoes

To relieve toe pain:

  • Use nonprescription medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Talk to your doctor about which pain reliever is best for you.
  • 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 heart.
  • 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
  • Put moleskin or felt patches over or around pressure areas, to protect the bunion from being rubbed by your shoes.
  • 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 camera.gif) is questionable. Some studies show that bunions in children may not be related to pronation.1

Children who have bunions should see a doctor if foot pain is limiting their activity. In some cases, the doctor may recommend surgery.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

bloodstream
Tips to help prevent clots.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
gloved hand holding syringe
10 preventable diseases.
psoriasis
How to identify that bite.
man eating meal
Folates, green tea and more.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Woman with stressed, fatigue
Get relief tips.
restroom sign
Food and drinks that make you go.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.