Bunions

Bunions are enlarged areas of the inner part of the big toe associated with a fluid-filled pad (bursa) underneath the often hardened outer skin. Bunions are caused by a swelling of the bursa of the metatarso-phalangeal joint (the joint that joins the toe to the foot) of the big toe, which in turn forces the toe to point inward as the joint itself protrudes outward.

The most common symptom of bunions is the large toe(s) moving inward and potentially becoming inflamed, creating mild to extreme pain.

Bunions occur more frequently in women who wear pointed and tight-fitting shoes. However, bunions can often be hereditary.

What To Consider

Bunions need to be treated or will get worse. Mild bunions can be treated mechanically though larger ones may require surgery.

To correct or improve a bunion, structural and functional correction of the postural and mechanical (weight-bearing) factors that led to its development is required. Fallen arches, postural muscle imbalance in the legs and pelvic area, and problems involving low back and pelvic joint mechanics, as well as habits of use (running, walking, and standing postures relating to work, sport, and general function) all need attention from skilled practitioners using manipulation and rehabilitation methods, including physical therapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths.

Self-Care Tips

Nutritional Supplementation
The following supplements can help improve the symptoms of bunions: DL-phenylalanine, D-phenylalanine, niacinamide, and magnesium. Although these supplements can improve symptoms of pain and inflammation, they will not get rid of the causes. Thus, they need to be taken on a regular basis several times per day to keep blood levels elevated. Improvement usually takes up to one month and will subside a short time after these nutrients are no longer taken.

Herbs
Aloe vera juice, parsley tea, and calendula are all useful for helping to relieve the pain caused by bunions. Calendula lotion is also recommended.

Lifestyle
Walk barefoot whenever possible. Exercise your feet, rolling them back and forth, from heel to toe, over a bottle.

Homeopathy
Ruta grav., Silicea, and Arnica are useful remedies, as is Benz ac, which must be taken alone, not in combination, like the other remedies.

Hydrotherapy
Contrast application (hot and cold water) applied daily. Hot Epsom salts foot baths can also help. To further aid circulation use a whirlpool bath.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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