Bunions can be more than a minor annoyance -- they can be downright painful. If yours have been keeping you from completing your commitments at work and in your personal life, then it may be time to seek treatment from a podiatrist. In the meantime, use these four strategies to keep your pain under control.
Massage your feet with eucalyptus essential oil.
Eucalyptus oil cools and refreshes your skin, and the act of massaging your bunions increases circulation to the area, which can reduce swelling and pain. To make your own eucalyptus massage oil, pour about a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil into a bowl. Add 2 – 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and then apply this mixture to your feet. Use your thumb and forefinger to massage your bunions, and the rest of the ball of your foot as well, in a circular motion. If this feels painful when you first start out, use gentle pressure at first, and then slowly build to a firmer pressure. This massage is perfect for the end of a long day on your feet.
Soak your feet in Epsom salts.
Epsom salts help draw inflammation out of your bunions, which will alleviate your soreness. Try to soak your feet at least a couple of times per week for best results. Simply fill a soaking tub with warm water, and then toss in a handful or Epsom salts. Lower your feet in, and let them soak for about 20 minutes. This treatment is also good if your bunions have begun to rub on your shoes, creating blisters and skin soreness. The salts will help heal the sores and decrease the risk of infection.
Purchase bunion pads and shoes that accommodate them.
A lot of people invest in bunion pads to keep their feet comfortable, but if you don't have shoes that accommodate the bunion pads, then you might just be making matters worse by shoving in pads that make your shoes fit more tightly. Purchase the style of bunion pads that sticks to or otherwise attaches to your feet. Visit the shoe store, and look for a pair of shoes with a wide toe box. You should not feel any pressure on your bunions when you slide them on. You may need to try shoes in a wider size than you're used to. For instance, if you normally wear a "B" width, look for "C" width shoes. Make sure the pair you choose has a versatile look, because they'll be your go-to shoes until your podiatrist appointment arrives.
By choosing compatible shoes and pads, soaking your feet in Epsom salts, and doing regular massages, you can keep your bunion pain under control. Keep in mind that these are just pain management techniques – they won't cure your bunions – so it's still important to see a doctor, such as Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle.