Podiatrist Toronto, ON Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M.
586 Eglinton Avenue E. Suite 501 Toronto, Ontario M4P1P2
Local: 416-486-9917 Toll free: (877) 456-3338

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Dealing With Painful Bunions

When the tissue at the base of your big toe swells, forming a large bump on the side of your foot, this is called a bunion. This foot condition is a bone and soft tissue deformity that can cause relapsing or constant inflammation and pain. The number one complaint a person suffering from bunion has is pain and irritation. The pain is caused by the inflammation occurring in the tissues of the toe joint being progressively stretched as the bones shift out of their position.


A bunion might also rub against a tight-fitting shoe, creating more irritation. As with any foot problem, it is best to seek professional care. In addition, here are several tips that can help reduce bunion pain:


Do a soak. A cool foot soak is an easy way to soothe sore and irritated foot. If you do not have a foot spa at home, a clean basin will do. Pour a few tablespoons of your favourite bath salt or Epsom salt into the basin and fill it with lukewarm water, just enough to cover the ankles. Soak for 5 to 15 minutes.


Stretch toes. Stretching exercises are also a great way to address your sore joints and this includes your toes, too. While seated comfortably, use a strap or your hands to grasp your toe. Pull the toe through a comfortable range of motion gently. Hold that position for 30 seconds and repeat a few times. Then, gently stretch the toe away from the next toe, also holding for 30 seconds and repeat.  If you have a bunion on the big toe side, grasp your big toe and stretch away from the second toe. If the pain worsens, discontinue any stretching.


Wear new shoes. Having your feet sized is not just for children. Our feet can change in size throughout our lives and it is always a great idea to measure your feet. Make sure you also measure for the width and not just the length. A bunion usually leads to a gradual widening of the forefoot, requiring a wider size shoe for comfort. When you think of dress shoes for feet with bunions, you might envision old-style orthopaedic shoes. However, there are more fashionable styles to choose from today. There are also a variety of athletic shoes that are ideal for feet with bunions. If your favourite pair of shoes is too tight over your bunion, you can have that area stretched at a shoe repair or a leather repair store.


For a more permanent relief from bunion pain, see Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM today. 

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