After spending many hours on your feet, it's not unusual for your bunions to become sore and achy -- especially if you're wearing tight shoes that press on them. While this level of discomfort may indicate that it's time to talk to your doctor about bunion surgery, you still need to do something to ease the pain in the short-term. Here are three treatments to try.
Soak Your Feet
Soaking your feet in a pan of warm water can help increase blood flow to the area, which should help ease some of the muscle soreness. The warmth will also encourage your muscles to relax and loosen up so you can bend your foot more easily. All you need to do is fill a pan with warm water and stick your feet in, but there are a few things you can add to enhance the experience even more:
- Epsom salts: Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. The salts dissociate in water, releasing magnesium ions that can be absorbed through your skin and help to relieve muscle pain. Stir a handful into your warm water.
- Finely ground oatmeal: If the skin on and around your bunions is also sore, add some oatmeal to the water. Grind it up very finely in a food processor or blender first. It will help soothe your skin and alleviate stinging and itchiness.
Massage Your Feet
It may be painful to touch your bunions, but massaging them the right way can provide some relief. Apply some massage oil, as this will help your hands glide smoothly over your bunions. Coconut oil or olive oil will work if you don't have massage oil handy. Start with long, smooth, gentle strokes. Go one direction and then the other to warm up the skin. Once this becomes more comfortable, increase the pressure just a little bit. Keep gradually applying more pressure until you are using more of a kneading motion. Then, finish with some more long, gentle strokes.
Apply a Cooling Gel
This remedy is best to use after either a massage or a soak as it will provide some continued relief as the day or night wears on. Don't use this remedy if the skin on your bunion is broken or blistered, as it may sting or make the sore worse. Visit your local pharmacy, and purchase a cooling gel. There are several brands, some of which are marketed for arthritis, and others of which are marketed to athletes. Either type will do. Follow the instructions on the package to apply the gel to your bunions, and then slip your foot into a sock to keep the gel in place.
For more information, contact a podiatrist in your area.