See that bumpy bone jutting from the side base of your big toe? That’s a bunion, and it could swell and become painful in some cases. Basically, bunions develop when tissue or bone that surrounds the joint swells due to excessive pressure on the big toe.
In some people, a bunion could likewise cause the big toe to lean towards the neighboring toe. This is known as displacement and could result in issues with your other toes. Dr. John Murphy, here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, regularly treats bunions. Until your consultation, however, here are tips on caring for your bunions at home.
Home Care for Bunion Relief
- Choose your footwear wisely. Pick shoes that offer a deep and wide space for your toes as well as shoes with great arch support and flat or low heels. Avoid wearing high-heeled, narrow, pointed, or tight shoes. If you must wear heels, make sure to remove them for a few minutes every 30 minutes to an hour and stretch your feet.
- Call your podiatrist to check if an OTC pain reliever will help with your symptoms. Make sure to follow all your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine.
- Try shoe inserts, toe spacers, arch supports, or bunion pads. These can aid in shifting your weight as you walk to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the big toe and your bunion. Ask your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, for recommendations.
- Place a cold pack or ice on your bunion for about 15 to 20 minutes as needed. Always place a thin towel between your skin and the ice.
- Elevate the affected foot whenever you lie down, sit, or ice your bunion. This will help minimize swelling.
When Home Care Doesn’t Give You Relief
Call your podiatrist or seek urgent medical care if you’ve done all the at-home care tips above but have developed the following symptoms:
- Severe pain
- Your toe feels cooler than usual and looks pale or have changed color
- Your toe feels numb, weak, or tingly
Also, you should pay close attention to any changes and call your podiatrist if your symptoms don’t subside, particularly if the swelling and pain worsens. Your podiatrist may need to inject steroids into your bunion to see if it helps with the swelling. But if your symptoms persist, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Get In Touch With Us For Advice or Concerns About Bunions
Schedule a consultation with your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center by dialing (410) 992-8504.