6. Proper Footwear
Depending on the extent of the foot deformity, the pain of a bunion may require no treatment other than proper footwear. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers several tips for purchasing shoes that fit properly. They include ideas such as trying on shoes in the evening rather than the morning, since this is when your feet are at their biggest. Also, walk around in the shoes to determine their comfort. Make sure there is enough room at the widest part of the shoe. If your feet slightly differ in size, choose a shoe that is comfortable for your larger foot.
5. Ice and Medications
The pain and swelling of a bunion may improve with ice application. You may discover that applying an ice pack provides relief from the pain of your bunion. Apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a cloth for no more than 20 minutes at a time to keep swelling down. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents can also help with the pain and inflammation of the swollen joint of the toe. Speak with your physician about whether medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be helpful for your pain. If arthritis is contributing to your bunion, your doctor may prescribe additional medications.
4. Padding or Orthotics
While using padding or orthotics will not cure your bunion, they can provide pain relief. Over-the-counter pads may cushion and shield your bunion from pressure. Make sure the padding is not applying additional pressure to the joint of your toe. Instead, the padding should prevent your shoe from squeezing the bone. Placing a special spacer between your big toe and the second toe may relieve pain. Another bunion product is a special splint you can wear to bed that holds your toe in a straighter position. You may also speak with your doctor about custom-made orthotics or shoe inserts.