Faulty footwear can cause the development of bunions in the feet. Essentially bunions are a type of bony outgrowth which form at the base of the big toe and along the inside of the foot. As and when they do affect a person, the bunions tend to affect both feet at the same time. Finding shoes that fit properly becomes very difficult for the person as the bony awkward protrusions start to obstruct the outline of the feet-and the bunions may even prevent the ability to wear any shoes at all.
In addition to this fact, the bunions can give rise to bursitis if they are inflamed, this will make walking itself very painful and uncomfortable for the affected person. Additionally such deformations in the feet can give rise to osteoarthritis and added discomfort to the person. The bunion rubbing against the shoe can also produce calluses along the feet of the person.
There is a direct connection between wearing improper footwear and the development of bunions on the feet. The big toe is squeezed into a very uncomfortable and awkward position when very narrow or tightly fitting shoes are worn as this action squeezes the toes together. The base of the big toe on the foot gradually begins to move in an outward direction because of this squeezing over time.
Among the most vulnerable groups are children, children’s feet are still growing and such discomfort can cause major malformations. Another demographic group that suffers the development of painful bunions are women. Fashions such as high heels and pointed shoes, make the entire weight of the body to rests on the balls of the toes and lead to the development of bunions. The chances of developing bunions also increase if other conditions such as flat feet and similar foot problems already exist in the feet.
Any inflammation in the feet because of bunions can be reduced by consuming a lot of citrus fruits, and other fruits such as kiwi fruits and red currants, all of these fruits are rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, which is a potent and effective vitamin in soothing inflamed tissues. The effectiveness of vitamin C is enhanced by substances called bioflavonoids; these are found in abundant quantities in the white layer beneath the peel of citrus fruits-thus this layer must also be consumed whenever citrus fruits are consumed.
Inflammation in any part of the body can also be brought down by the essential fatty acids, which are found abundantly in unrefined cold-pressed nut oil and in many seed oils such as those of the flax seed or the seed oil of the pumpkin. These oils contain the two essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acid. Anti-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins are synthesized in the body using these two essential fatty acids.
Supplements and herbs
Bunions can be reduced in size through the action of bromelain (found in pineapple), particularly when the compound is consumed between meals as a supplemental measure. Bunions can also be brought about by an imbalance in the calcium and magnesium levels of the human body. Thus effective healing of a bunion can be achieved by supplemental increases in the magnesium dosage to about 1,000 to 1,500 mg everyday-while decreasing the calcium content of the body.
The given herbal remedies and supplements can help bring about healing of bunions, when used along with other measures such as proper and hygienic foot care.
Circulation in the feet can be stimulated by foot baths using freshly grated ginger; these baths also ease the discomfort and soreness in the feet while relieving the aches caused by bunions. Inflammation in the feet can be relieved by the use of a calendula salve as a direct topical measure. If the feet are affected by a severe inflammation and redness, applications of the gel of the aloe vera herb can help heal and soothe the feet. To bring about quick healing of the feet, consume about 1-2 tbsp. either of aloe vera or parsley juice a day.
Aromatherapy is an excellent way to heal bunions. Prepare an effective recipe by blending the following essential oils – eucalyptus radiata (6 drops), lemon (3 drops), wintergreen (one drop), Raven (4 drops) and a suitable carrier oil (one-fourth teaspoon or somewhat less). Use the Raven blend containing lemon, ravensara, eucalyptus radiate, lemon, peppermint and wintergreen.
Rub on just 2 to 4 drops of this essential oil blend on the bunion as well as in the surrounding area for about twice or thrice daily till the bunion disappears. When you are using this essential oil blend to treat bunions, it may generally take anything between six and eight weeks, or sometimes even longer, for the bunion to go.
Alternatively, you may also apply lavender, peppermint or sweet marjoram essential oils on and around the bunions to get relief from the swelling and pain caused by the condition. It is, however, important to dilute these essential oils as per your desire before you apply any of them on the bunion.
Additional things you may do
Take some time off to walk barefoot on a regular basis either in the garden to inside the house. Feet must be exercised in a regular basis, this can be done by rolling it back and forth from a sitting position, roll it from heel to toe, or over some round pebbles, alternately a rolling pin can also be employed to exercise the feet.
Taking alternating hot and cold foot baths on a daily basis can immensely help in improving circulation to the affected area of the feet. To eliminate and draw out the toxins from the feet, hot baths to which Epsom salt has been added can be employed on a regular basis. All the footwear that you wear must be loose and comfortable-it must not pinch or be too tight. Therefore all shoes that are too small for you must be avoided and tight fitting, pointed shoes must not be worn at anytime.
In case you have developed bunions that are either inflamed or swollen, using a cold compress will be useful to ease the pain associated with the condition. Use an ice pack or take some ice and wrap it in a towel and apply it to the bunions for about 10 to 15 minutes. Ice is not only useful in lessening the swelling, but will also relieve you from the hot, fever-like feeling.
If you are not comfortable with the cold, you may also use a heating pad to treat inflamed or swollen bunions. Simply set the heat at a high temperature and apply the pad to your bunions.
Even a good massage may prove to be beneficial, as it helps to ease the pain due to the bunions and makes you feel better. However, while massaging the bunions, never rub from one side to the other. Instead, rub the sides of the bunions for roughly 10 minutes.
When people have bunions, their big toe joint gets distended and it thrusts the big toe towards their other toes. As a result of this abnormal alignment of the toes, there is excessive pressure on the joint of the big toe. Eventually, this makes it difficult for the person to walk and he/ she experiences pain even when they walk for brief distances.
The drugstores sell spacers, which you can place in the space between the affected big toe and the next toe. Using these spacers actually push the big toe to its normal position, thereby taking away some amount of pressure from the joint. In addition, you may even purchase non-prescription drugs that are meant to alleviate the problems associated with bunions. Go around the drugstore in your neighbourhood to look for other remedies that may also be helpful in easing your condition.
It is advisable that you also consider using a number of commercially available feet soaks to get relief from the pain and swelling caused by bunions. Provided you do not have Epsom salts at your disposal, you may just soak your affected feet in simple warm water, as this will also help to reduce the swelling and pain due to bunions.
You may also use non-prescription palliatives, which are also useful to alleviate the pain due to bunions. Using over-the-counter drugs containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) is effective in easing pain, while drugs like naproxen (present in Aleve) and ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil) will help to provide relief from pain as well as inflammation.
However, if you want the bunions to go and also ease the pain and uneasiness caused by them forever, you may undergo a surgery to remove the bunions. Physicians also recommend surgery to people suffering from severe bunions that may result in deformity of the toes.
While surgery always involves some amount of risk, removing the bunions by means of surgery is generally a simple process. Although it may take as long as four weeks for a patient who has undergone a surgery for removal of bunions to recover completely, generally the patients are able to get up from the bed and start walking in just some days following the surgery.
Often, bunions may cause a lot of pain and in serious cases they can also make the patient very weak. However, you need not worry much if you develop bunions, because using the home remedies discussed above will effectively alleviate the pain and swelling caused by bunions and restore the normalcy of your feet again.
Magnesium, 1,000 to1,500 mg a day with meals.
Bromelain, 500 mg thrice a day between meals.
Other beneficial herbs