How to get rid of bunions fast? A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a painful bony bump that develops on the joint at the base of your big or pinky toes. When you wear poorly fitting shoes, such as shoes narrow, your big toe will push against the next toe, forcing the big toe into an unnatural position and making your big toe stick out. This can easily make joints inflamed, swollen, painful, and deformed.
If left untreated, the bunion can lead to calluses, corns, toe abnormalities, severe scars, and even walking hard. Luckily, some natural remedies can effectively eliminate bunions at the soonest possible time. This article provides some best natural home remedies, lifestyle modifications, and medical treatments to eliminate bunions efficiently.
Common Causes of Bunions
Bunions are a common foot condition characterized by a bony bump on the side of the big toe joint. They are caused by a number of factors, including genetics, poor foot mechanics, and footwear.
Genetics can play a role in the development of bunions, as some people are more likely to develop them due to their bone structure. Those with flat feet or a low arch are more likely to suffer from bunions. Additionally, certain individuals may be predisposed to bunions due to their family history.
Foot mechanics, such as overpronation or walking on the outside of the foot, can also cause bunions. Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward too much, causing the big toe to be pushed out of alignment. Additionally, walking on the outside of the foot can cause the big toe to be pushed inwards, creating a bunion.
Lastly, footwear can be a factor in the development of bunions. Shoes that are too narrow or have a pointed toe box can cause the toes to become cramped and push the big toe out of alignment. Additionally, wearing high heels can cause the toes to be pushed into the front of the shoe, which can also cause bunions.
Common Symptoms of Bunions
A bunion is a bony enlargement at the base of the big toe, which causes the toe to turn inwards, resulting in a lump on the side of the foot. It can be quite painful and can also cause other foot problems such as corns, calluses, and hammertoe. Common symptoms of a bunion include:
Pain: Bunions can be quite painful, especially when pressure is applied to them. The pain usually increases when wearing certain types of shoes, such as tight–fitting or pointed–toe shoes.
Swelling: Swelling around the bunion is usually the result of inflammation caused by the misalignment of the toe.
Redness: A bunion can cause skin redness around the bunion and on the side of the foot.
Aching: This symptom is often accompanied by pain and is a result of the pressure that is put on the bunion due to the misalignment.
Corns and Calluses: These are caused by the pressure that is put on the bunion due to the misalignment of the toe.
How do I know if I have a bunion?
The first sign of a bunion is a visible bump on the side of the big toe. This bump is often red and tender and can grow larger over time. You may also experience pain and swelling in the area around the joint, as well as a burning or itching sensation.
As the bunion worsens, the big toe may start to turn in toward the other toes, and the area around the joint may become calloused or inflamed. In more severe cases, the bunion can cause difficulty with walking or wearing shoes.
In addition, you may also notice that the bunion is getting in the way of your natural walking stride and making it difficult to walk comfortably.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Bunions Fast and Naturally
Method 1: 12 Natural Remedies to Remove Bunions Without Surgery
Massage With Essential Oils
Massaging with essential oils is one of the most effective natural remedies. It can improve the blood flow circulation to the toes and make excess deposits of the joints dissolve. This can help reduce the size of the bunion effectively.
Essential oils from natural plants have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties. It can help improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation, blisters, and bunion pain. In addition, It can help prevent calluses and naturally reduce the bunion’s size.
- First, warm up 10 drops of olive oil,10 drops of coconut oil, or castor oil in a pan. Do not overheat the oil; otherwise, it will hurt the skin.
- Apply the oil to the bunions with a thin cloth.
- Gently massage the affected area for about 5-10 minutes with your fingers.
- You can do this every night before you go to sleep.
- Repeat this process 2-4 times a day until there is a significant change in the bunions.
- This method usually takes 6-8 weeks to work.
Soak Your Feet With Essential Oil
Soaking the feet with oil is another excellent way to eliminate bunion inflammation. It can help improve blood circulation to the feet. The essential oil can help soothe the bunions and relax your feet.
- Add 5 drops of peppermint oil,5 drops of lavender oil, and ½ cup of Epsom salts into a foot soak tub with a gallon of hot water.
- Soak your feet in the water for 20 minutes or more. The warmth of the water will help reduce the tiredness and soreness of the feet.
- You can do this once a day or more if necessary.
Relieve Bunions Pain With Cold Compresses
Cold therapy is an easy but helpful method to relieve the inflammation and pain of bunions. According to a 2015 study, cold therapy, such as ice treatment, can effectively reduce the pain and discomfort caused by bunions.
If you feel that you are already having problems with bunions, you can ensure that you will not cause them to swell.
If your bunions are already swelling, you can use an ice pack to relieve the bunion pain. This can also numb nerve endings and reduce bunion pain and inflammation.
- Clean your feet with a block of mild soap and keep them fresh.
- Wrap several ice cubes in a thin washcloth or thin towel.
- Place it on your bunion for about 5 -10 minutes. Remember not to apply ice directly on the skin; otherwise, it may harm the foot.
- Remove the ice pack for 5 minutes.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times until you feel relief.
- Make sure not to place the ice pack for more than 15 minutes because this may be bad for the skin.
- Do this every time you feel pain because of your bunions.
Castor oil is excellent for treating bunions and other foot problems. Castor oil contains tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids. This agent has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-oxidation, and antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation.
It also has antinociceptive properties that can help reduce swelling and foot pain caused by bunions.
- Warm the castor oil or olive oil with a pan first.
- Dip a clean cloth into the oil and place it on the bunions.
- Cover the cloth with another towel to ensure the castor oil stays heated. The heat of castor oil will improve the blood flow to the foot and relieve the pain.
- This can be done twice a day when the bunion hurts.
Olive oil is one of the most effective natural ways to remove your bunions. It contains anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds such as caffeic acid oleocanthal that can help reduce stiffness, pain, and fatigue in the feet. It also can help treat other chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. You can also add olive oil to your diet.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan.
- Apply it to the affected area and gently massage it for 10-20 minutes.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times daily for 3 weeks.
This is a popular folk remedy for many diseases like a muscle, joint pains, or cerebral palsy. It can also be used to remove the bunions.
Epsom salt can be beneficial because it contains magnesium sulfate, which can help eliminate the inflammation and pain brought by the bunions. It can also help soften the skin of the foot.
- Add a handful of Epsom salt into the foot soak tub with warm water.
- Soak your feet in the water for about 20 minutes.
- You will start to feel that your pain is going away.
- Doing this every day can diminish the size of the bunions.
Bay Leaves For Bunions
Bay Leaves, also known as Laurus nobilis, effectively eliminate bunions and associated joint pain. It has many health benefits, including preventing bacterial infections, treating diabetes, reducing inflammation, and accelerating wound healing.
They are also popular herbal treatments for various skin, including corns and calluses. The bay leaves contain parthenolide, a unique phytonutrient that can help reduce irritation and inflammation.
- Crush some fresh bay leaves into small pieces.
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of bay leave with 300-500 ml cold water and heat it for 5-10 minutes.
- Keep the solution overnight in a thermos and filter them the following day.
- Drink this tea several times until you finish it in a day.
- Make sure to drink the tea in small sips.
- Repeat this treatment for 3-5 days, then rest for 3 days before starting again until your problem disappear.
Calendula, also called marigold, is a helpful herb treatment for bunions. This is a natural alternative to surgery.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling of the foot. It can also help eliminate other foot diseases, such as bursa inflammation and plantar verruca.
According to a three-month study, calendula can eliminate pain in bunion patients and reduce swelling by up to 25%.
- Mix 1 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of calendula petals in a pot.
- Heat the mixture for 2 hours. Do not use high temperatures, as this will destroy the ingredient of the calendula.
- Apply a small amount of mixture directly on the bunions.
- Gently massage the affected area for 15-20 minutes.
- You can do this 2-3 times daily for 2 weeks.
Red pepper is a helpful natural remedy for bunions. The main reason why Red Pepper can be effective against bunions is that it has capsaicin and anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They can help reduce the bunion’s size and alleviate the pain efficiently.
However, too much red pepper may cause a stinging sensation. If you can not stand, you can slightly reduce the amount.
- Place a little petroleum jelly on the area of the feet where the red pepper will be placed.
- Apply the red pepper on top and leave it on for a few minutes.
- Place a cloth on the red pepper to feel the heat effectively.
Aspirin is an excellent natural way of treating bunions. It has antibacterial properties that help prevent bacteria, remove dead skin cells, and reduce skin irritation. It also contains acetylsalicylic acid, which helps prevent calluses on foot.
- Crush 2-3 Aspirin with a mortar and dilute with water.
- Soak your foot in the water for 5-10 minutes.
- Do this every day for a better result.
Note: You may feel irritation or discomfort with this method; ensure not to touch your eyes when using Aspirin.
Turmeric is another effective method to get rid of bunions. It contains the compound curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation and pain in the feet. It is also beneficial for many other diseases, such as arthritis.
You may have known indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine for bunions. However, research shows that turmeric has a better effect than this drug. You can take turmeric orally or apply it to the affected area.
- Mix a glass of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Drink it 2-3 times a day.
- You can also use curcumin capsules instead of turmeric powder. Make sure to read the instructions first.
- Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little olive oil. Apply the mix directly to your affected area 1-2 times a day until there is a significant change in the bunions.
Chamomile was used for bunion treatment centuries ago. In ancient times, chamomile was considered a sacred herb God gave to humans. This is because chamomile can help treat many diseases, including bunions.
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea several times a day. Do not throw the used and warm chamomile tea bags away. You can apply it directly to your affected area for 5-10 minutes.
- Also, you can mix water and 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile. Apply this paste to your affected area for 10-15 minutes; wash it off with clean water. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.
Method 2: Foot Exercises to Prevent Bunions and Relieve Bunion Pain
Physical therapy exercises such as foot exercises and toe stretches can effectively help you rest on your feet. Although these exercises do not ultimately help you eliminate the bunions, they can help relieve foot pain and increase flexibility. In addition, these exercises can be beneficial for your hammertoes or chronically bent toes.
Here are the 5 best foot exercises that may benefit people with bunions:
- Flexing and contracting Exercise: Stretch your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three or four times. Then bend your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three or four times.
- Picking Up Exercise: Place some marbles on the floor behind you. Please pick them up with your foot and place them in a bowl individually. This exercise can be beneficial for your flexibility of toes.
- Walking on Sand Exercise: You can often walk on the sand if possible. The sand will give you a gentle foot massage. This can help relieve foot strain.
- Resistance exercises: Wrap your big toe with a small towel and pull it toward you. Then push your big toe forward against the towel. Repeat 5- 10 times. This exercise can help keep your foot flexible.
- Move exercise: Hold your big toe firmly with your hand. Gently manipulate the joint of your big toe to the left and return to neutral, then use it to the right and return to neutral. Repeat this process with your big toe to the up and down several times.
Method 3: Modify Your lifestyle to Get Rid of Bunions
Rest your feet
Rest is essential for your feet, especially if you stand long. Because standing will oppress your bunions, this will worsen the feet’ inflammation. You should take off your shoes and sit down for some minutes to let your feet get rest.
You can also try walking barefoot, an effective method to rest your feet. This can improve the blood circulation of your feet and strengthen the bones and muscles in your feet.
Make sure to wear padded socks or thick slippers on carpeted floors; otherwise, walking barefoot may worsen your bunions.
Change Your Shoes
The main reason you have acquired bunions is that you wear poorly fitting shoes. When you wear shoes that do not fit properly, this will stop the blood flow and the synovial fluid from flowing through the foot.
Wearing wider shoes can help relieve the stress of your big toe and give enough wiggle room to your toe. This helps improve blood circulation and heals the bunions.
- Make sure that you are wearing the right size of shoes. You may have to let them go if you wear tight-fitting or athletic shoes.
- If you have wide feet, it can be trickier to find the right shoes. It will be essential to fit shoes beforehand not to have any foot problems.
- If you are fond of wearing heels, make sure your feet have a rest every once in a while.
- If you aren’t sure how to choose the best shoes for you, you can visit an athletic specialist.
- Avoid shoes with pointed toes and high heels, which will pull the big toe joint out of its place and make your bunions worse.
Try Bunion Pads or Shoe Inserts
This is an easy but effective method to correct your foot’s position. They can help take a weight off your toes and redistribute the pressure away from the affected joint.
- Buy a bunion pad or shoe. Insert according to the size of your shoes.
- You can usually find them in local drug stores.
- Make sure to test the pads for some time first to reduce the pressure.
Avoid Activities That Worse Your Bunions
For some activities, such as Ballet dancing, you need to wear constrictive shoes, which can worsen your bunions. You should try to avoid these activities.
When you walk or run, use arch supports and supportive shoes. They can help you get rid of excessive pronation.
Method 4: Medical Treatments For Bunions
1. Over-the-counter Medications
Suppose you are experiencing severe bunions. Some over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce the inflammation and pain in the feet. Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice.
2. Bunion Surgery
In severe cases, you may choose bunion surgery. Make sure to consult your doctor to find out the best bunion surgery for you. Bunion surgery is a quick way to remove bunions; however, it doesn’t guarantee the bunions may reoccur after surgery because the bone may regrow and result in bunions again. Therefore, surgery is not recommended unless it is a last resort.
When to consider surgery? Bunion surgery is recommended for individuals who are no longer responding to other treatments. If the bunion is causing severe pain or difficulty walking, or if the toe has become deformed, surgery may be the best option.