Bunions are a foot condition that rarely heal well without intervention. That’s not to say that you’ll always need surgery to correct the problem, but at the same time, don’t expect the condition to resolve on its own by doing the same things you’ve been doing. Shrinking a bunion without surgery is possible, but it requires intentional conservative treatment techniques. We share five of those in today’s blog.
Shrinking Bunions Without Surgery
Here are some ways to help protect the area and either shrink a bunion or prevent symptoms from worsening without undergoing a surgical procedure.
1. Change Your Footwear – Poor fitting shoes are the number one culprit for the development of bunions, so if you’re noticing a bunion starting to develop, evaluate your shoes and switch to a better fitting pair. Tight shoes, closed toe options and high heels can all put excessive pressure on our toe joint, which can contribute to bunion formation. Switch to a roomier shoe, and this will help take stress off the big toe joint.
2. Manage Your Weight – The more pressure our feet have to disperse, the more stress that is on our toe joints. Because of this, if you lose some weight, you’ll be putting less stress on your big toe joint. Carrying more weight can put you at a higher risk for bunions, and the opposite is true in that weight management can reduce your risk or the symptoms associated with your current bunion.
3. Shoe Inserts – Orthotic inserts can also help to protect our big toe joint from becoming stressed inside the shoe, and it can help how our feet displaces pressure as we walk, also helping to protect our big toe joint. You can pick up an over-the-counter option, or you can consult with a foot specialist and have a custom insert developed.
4, Bunion Pads – A bunion pad is a soft piece of fabric or cloth that is inserted into your shoe where your big toe joint rubs up against the inside of the shoe. This way there is some extra padding between the joint and the surface its rubbing against, which can help protect the area. They work even better in a looser fitting shoe!
5. Ice – Cold therapy can also prove helpful in bunion management. Holding an ice pack on a bunion for 10-15 minutes can help calm inflammation and swelling in the area, which will make the site smaller and less likely to be irritated when placed in a shoe. Icing alone won’t correct the issue, but it can make them less painful and less likely to get worse if you need to wear shoes in the near future. Icing can help when coupled with the other techniques listed above.
For more information, or for more hands-on help getting your bunion under control, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today. Or check out this video on bunion treatment that he put together!