How to Manage a Severe Bunion Pain Flare-up

How to Manage a Severe Bunion Pain Flare-up

You’ve noticed that bump on your big toe for a while, and you’ve mostly ignored it. But now the pain is strong enough that you can’t deny it any longer.

That big bump is a bunion, by the way. A bunion (also called hallux valgus) is a bony hump that develops on the side of your foot where your big toe joins the rest of your foot. 

A bunion is caused by a misalignment in your metatarsal bones that pushes your big toe toward your other toes when it should remain straight. This makes your big toe joint turn in the opposite direction, forming a bump. When a bunion forms, it can become inflamed and swollen, which leads to the pain you feel. 

Thankfully, our expert team of providers at Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center knows exactly how to help relieve your bunion pain flare-up. Here’s our best advice on how to reduce your pain so you can get back to normal as soon as possible.

Switch shoes

One of the main causes of bunions is wearing shoes with a tight toe box that scrunches your toes together. The tight space contributes to the misalignment that causes your bunion. If you’re experiencing a flare-up of pain, try switching to low-heeled shoes with a roomy toe box that gives your toes plenty of room to spread out and doesn’t put pressure on your bunion.

Add cushion

Wearing a bunion pad can provide relief as well. This is a small gel cushion that goes over your bunion and keeps it from rubbing against your shoe. Relieving the pressure against the bunion helps relieve your pain.

Stretch your toes

Stretching your toes can also help reduce the pain from a bunion. These stretches can involve pulling your big toe away from your other toes so it’s in proper alignment, curling your toes, flexing your toes, using your toes to pick up small objects on the floor, and using a resistance band to pull your big toe back toward you.

Apply ice

This technique may sound pretty basic, but applying an ice pack to your bunion can help relieve your pain. The cold will numb your foot and reduce inflammation and swelling, causing your pain to decrease.

Take medication

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. If your pain is more severe, cortisone shots can be effective in relieving your discomfort temporarily. There’s a limit to how many shots you can get in a certain time period, so this isn’t a long-term strategy, but it can work well during a flare-up.

If you need help treating your bunion pain, our team at Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center is here to help. To make an appointment, contact one of our five Colorado locations by calling the office nearest you or using our online scheduler to request an appointment time that works for you.

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