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5 Remedies for a Bunion Pain Flare-up

For the millions of people with bunions, the bony protrusions can be a hassle in terms of aesthetics and comfort. But when bunions become inflamed, they have a way of becoming the center of your existence, and not in a good way.

Whether you develop bunions due to age — 1 out of 3 people over 65 have bunions — or because of genetics — 70% of people with bunions have a family history — you’ve likely had a painful flare-up or two.

As experts in everything foot-related, including bunions, our team at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle wants to provide you with a few best practices when it comes to managing bunion pain.

1. Get into comfortable shoes

One of the reasons why bunions are far more common in women — by about 10 times — is because of footwear. Women are more likely to wear shoes with pointy toes that crowd the toes. Making matters worse, many women wear high heels, which jam the toes forward.

Male or female, the moment your bunion starts to hurt, ditch any shoes that squeeze your toes or place too much pressure on the bony protrusion. Instead, get yourself some stylish sneakers, sandals, or slippers that won’t rub against a painful and inflamed bunion.

2. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories

A bunion flare-up is characterized by pain and inflammation, the two symptoms that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can address. Take these medications according to instructions, and you should gain relief.

3. Use hot and cold therapies

Alternating icing and heat therapies are other great ways to tackle the pain and inflammation of a bunion flare-up. Start with icing the painful bunion, which should numb the area and reduce the swelling. Keep the ice on for 10-20 minutes. 

Wait for an hour or two before applying heat, whether it’s a hot pack or a warm bath for your feet. Heat relaxes and soothes your bunion pain.

Repeat this cycle until the flare-up resolves.

4. Pad your bunion

To protect your bunion during a flare-up, we suggest utilizing pads. Bunion pads come in gel form or moleskin, and you can find them in most pharmacies.

5. Come see us

If you’re going through a painful bunion flare-up or they’re happening with alarming frequency, it’s time to come see us. To soothe an immediate flare-up, we might turn to a corticosteroid injection that contains a local anesthetic for pain relief and a steroid to reduce inflammation.

However, injections aren't good long-term solutions. For a solution that puts an end to your painful bunion flare-ups, we can explore surgical correction of the issue.

If you have more questions about how to handle a painful bunion or you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact one of our 14 locations in Tennessee.

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