Bunion Aids – How to Feel Better

A bunion is a bone deformity affecting the metatarsophalangeal joints. If it affects the joint between the joint of the big toe and first metatarsal bone, this is condition is called hallux valgus (in Latin, hallux means big toe, and valgus means to turn away from the middle or midline of the body) or your typical bunion. If the deformity affects the joint between the small toe and fifth metatarsal bone, this is called tailor’s bunion. The term “tailor’s bunion” originated centuries ago because tailors back then sat all day cross-legged and they tend to rub the edge of their feet on the ground causing a painful bump at the base of the little toe.

Initially, bunions do not cause any pain. But as the bump becomes larger, the bunion can get easily irritated which can cause mild to severe pain. Bunion pains can interfere with daily activities like walking and running. Fortunately, there are things you can do to slow down or even prevent the progression of bunions and its associated pain.

Use Comfortable Shoes. The first step in managing bunion pain is to use properly fitting shoes. Shoes should be comfortable, with wide flexible soles, and wide enough not to compress the bunion.

Bunion Pads. Soft gel-filled pads provide added protection for the bunion from accidental bumps or irritation from rubbing inside the shoe. Bunions pads are inexpensive and are easily available in drugstores. 

Orthotics or Shoe Inserts. Shoe inserts can help distribute weight on your foot. Custom made orthotics are better than inserts because these are made specifically for your foot, but are more expensive than regular inserts. These products are designed to relieve pain and pressure, and can also prevent the further growth of the bunion.

Bunion Splint. A bunion splint or brace is a device that pulls the big toe outwards, correcting the alignment between the big toe and first metatarsal bone. A bunion splint should be worn during bed time.

Medications. Pain killers like nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs can help with acute bunion pain.

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