How to Minimize Bunion Pain

A bunion is a bump found at the base of the big toe. Due to structural weaknesses around the joint area of the big toe, the distal part of the metatarsal bone protrudes outward, while the tip of the toe point inwards, giving the typical appearance of a bunion.

Bunions can cause mild to severe pain and can affect your daily activities. But there are remedies you can do to minimize bunion pain. This includes:

1.        Wearing properly fitting shoes. Use shoes that have wide toe boxes and those that provide good arch support. Avoid using tight, pointy, high heeled shoes.

2.       Using a bunion splint at bed time. A splint will straighten your toes and joints while you sleep to slow down the progression of the bunion.

3.       Using bunion pads and custom made orthotics. This will help redistribute the weight around your foot and relieve pressure off your big toe when you walk.

4.       Placing moleskin over pressure areas around the bunion. This will protect the bunion from rubbing against the walls of the shoe.

5.       When experiencing severe bunion pain, try doing the RICE method:

a.       Rest – allow your feet to rest to prevent further irritation to the bunion.

b.      Ice – cold stimuli can help reduce pain and swelling. Dip the affected foot in a basin filled with ice cold water 5 to 10 minutes at a time. You can also apply ice directly on the affected area.

c.       Compress, wrap an elastic bandage around the joint of the big toe, this will help immobilize the foot and can help prevent swelling.

d.      Elevate. Elevating the foot above the heart will draw back pooled blood and fluids around the inflamed foot, reducing pain and swelling.

6.       Use over-the-counter pain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to control pain and swelling.

Bunion pain can be stubborn and persistent. If the above suggestions do not help alleviate your pain, please visit your podiatrist for advice. Bunion surgery, more particularly minimally invasive bunion surgery is the latest surgical technique for bunions. Make sure that your podiatrist practices this procedure. Surgery is only considered when all conservative treatments no longer provide relief from bunion pain.

Dr. Kevin Lam is a Double Certified foot and ankle surgeon in Naples, Florida and has developed the Lam modification bunion surgery which utilizes a very small incision and virtually painless no scar bunion surgery. For more information, call (239) 430-3668 (FOOT) or visit

Call (239) 430-3668 (FOOT)

for more information on scarless bunion surgery

or sign up for our Newsletter