What Treatments Offer Bunion Pain Relief?

by | Sep 30, 2023

A small, painless bump on the side of your big toe may seem harmless. With early intervention, it may also remain a small, painless bump. But for countless people in the U.S., a bunion will continue to grow over time. Indeed, bunions are deemed progressive bone disorders.  Fortunately, there are conservative treatments you can begin as soon as you notice a bump that can slow or halt the progression. Unfortunately, without lifestyle changes or podiatric intervention, bunions are likely to become increasingly painful. In some cases, they may require surgical correction. So, what treatments are most effective at providing bunion pain relief or slowing the development of a bunion? Read on for what you can do today to prevent worsening pain in the future.

 bunion pain relief

Primary Stage Bunions: Preventative Treatments

The first stage of a bunion is called the primary stage. This is a mild deformity caused by an abnormal jutting outward of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.  Primary-stage bunions begin as small bumps around the joint, that initially may not cause pain.

At this stage, preventing the bunion from worsening is the goal of all treatments prescribed by your podiatrist.

In the primary stage of bunion development, your podiatrist may also prescribe custom shoe inserts (orthotics). These inserts help to ensure that your toe alignment is managed while you’re wearing shoes. Your podiatrist may also recommend that you begin padding the protrusion. Bunion pads are available from your podiatrist or at most pharmacies and big box retailers; most are not effective so please discuss with your podiatrist before buying.

Secondary Stage Bunions: Treatments That May Provide Bunion Pain Relief

As a bunion worsens, it generally becomes more painful. At this secondary stage, your podiatrist may prescribe any combination of the following:

  • Steroid Injections to Decrease Inflammation
  • Physical Therapy to Strengthen Specific Toe Muscles for Better Alignment
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications

At-home treatments may also offer a degree of bunion pain relief. These treatments may include:

  • Icing the joint
  • Soaking the foot in a warm bath
  • Gentle massage of the feet

Am I At Risk of Developing Gout?

As bunions continue to develop, finding footwear that fits becomes increasingly difficult. The skin around the bunion may be red and tender. The big toe may be crossing under or over the second toe. Walking or exercising may be very difficult, and you may experience constant pain. Once a bunion has reached this stage, surgery is typically the only option.

Your podiatrist will explain the type of surgery (called a bunionectomy) that is most likely to provide bunion pain relief. Bunion surgeries may have several of the following objectives:

  • Realigning the metatarsophalangeal joint
  •  Repairing ligaments and tendons around the toe
  • Correcting bone deformities
  •  Removing the damaged portion of the joint
  • Implanting an artificial joint
  •  Fusing the bones of the joint
  • Ask us about Lapiplasty

bunion pain relief

Contact Bunion Treatment Experts in Eugene

At Euguene Foot & Ankle, our Board-Certified Podiatric Surgeons are highly experienced, skilled, and successful in designing custom treatment plans that provide bunion pain relief. To book an appointment with our expert surgeons, call 541-683-3351 or use our online form to request an appointment.

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