According to Harvard Medical School, bunions are one of the most common reasons individuals suffer with painful toes. In fact, the school states that bunions are a source of pain for more than half of all the women in America, and for at least a quarter of all men. If you are one of the individuals who suffer from this condition, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain.
Arrange for a Foot Massage
Massages work to alleviate pain by increasing blood circulation and relaxing the tissues surrounding the bunions. When scheduling your foot massage, it is also a good idea to ask the masseuse if he or she is comfortable using essential oils. There are a few oils that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and it would be easy for the masseuse to incorporate one during the massage session. A few oils to consider include lavender, frankincense, and balsam fir.
Use Custom-Made Orthotics
Custom-made orthotics are not just great at relieving bunion pain, but they also serve as an excellent hammertoe treatment. Each support is specifically designed for the individual and can be ordered through your podiatrist's office. In fact, most insurances pay for these supports if you have a prescription from your doctor. The orthotics work to relieve pain by redistributing your weight so that while you are up on your feet and walking around, the bunion is not being irritated.
Utilize Both Heat and Cold
For immediate pain relief, a cold compress or ice pack can be very helpful. The cold works to reduce inflammation as well as numb the area so you can get a break from the pain. For the long run, you'll find a daily foot soak is extremely soothing. Simple heat up some water and pour it in a foot tub. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to the water and stir until dissolved. Keep your foot in the bath for about a half hour before toweling dry and adding a little moisturizing lotion.
Take a Nonprescription Pain Reliever
While working on treating your bunions, your doctor may recommend that you take a nonprescription pain reliever. The specific type of over-the-counter pain medication your physician recommends depends on how much pain you're in and whether or not your toe is inflamed. Acetaminophen is a good choice for minor pain sufferers; however, ibuprofen is ideal when the area is red and inflamed. If your bunion requires surgery, your physician may opt to give you a stronger pain reliever while you heal.
For more information, contact a podiatrist like Robert A. Raley, DPM.