A bunion is a painful bump at the bottom joint of the big toe. There is a noticeable protrusion at on the side of that area. It is lateral deviation of the big toe together with medial deviation of the first metatarsal bone that leads to the formation of a bunion. The bunion forms where your big toe bends during walking. Bunions can cause pain when walking. They can also make you more prone to calluses, as they rub against your shoe.
Have you noticed your feet getting wider as you age? Bunions are a common consequence of this process.
- 1 Causes of Bunions
- 2 Symptoms of Bunions
- 3 Essential Oils for Bunions
- 4 Recipes and Techniques for Using Essential Oils for Bunions
- 5 Other Home Remedies for Bunions
- 5.1 Do foot exercises:
- 5.2 Change your footwear:
- 5.3 Bunion pads:
- 5.4 Marigold (calendula):
- 5.5 Chamomile:
- 5.6 Turmeric:
- 5.7 Epsom salt:
- 5.8 Ice:
- 5.9 Massage:
- 5.10 Aspirin soak:
- 5.11 Eat more anti-inflammatory foods:
- 5.12 Increase your intake of vitamins E, C, B complex, and A:
- 5.13 Castor oil:
- 5.14 Red pepper:
- 5.15 Olive oil:
- 5.16 Ginger:
- 5.17 Bay leaves:
- 5.18 Give your feet more rest:
- 5.19 Cust down on activities that could worsen your bunions:
- 5.20 Lose weight:
- 5.21 Eat pineapple:
- 5.22 Eat more lemons, kiwis, and oranges:
- 5.23 Pumpkin seed and flaxseed oil:
Causes of Bunions
It is thought that genetics can put you at greater risk of developing bunions. In order words, if people in your family have or have had bunions, it’s likely that you will, too. Individuals with arthritis can be more prone to bunions.
Women are more likely to develop bunions than men. It is believed that this is because of women’s shoe fashions having narrow and uncomfortable shapes. High heels also make you more likely to one day develop bunions.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes that cause pressure to the side of the big toe on a regular basis will make you more prone to developing bunions in the future.
Symptoms of Bunions
Some of the symptoms a bunion or bunions include:
- Pain experienced when walking
- Big toe becoming slanted against the other toes and shifting
- Redness and pain in the joint
- Protruding of the joint between the rest of the foot and the big toe
- Calluses that develop when shoes rub against the bunion
- Tenderness around the bunion
It is believed that as many as almost half of the adult population in the United States has a bunion in some form. There have been studies, however, indicating that it’s closer to 23 to 35 percent of people. While bunions can be painful in many cases, the majority of bunions are quite minor and don’t lead to any significant problems. People older than 65 are more likely than younger individuals to have bunions. It is true, though, that some young people (especially young girls who wear uncomfortable shoes) develop bunions. Approximately two percent of children younger than ten develop bunions.
If you have a bunion, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need professional treatment. It’s possible that you might be given painkillers and corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Patients who have extremely severe bunions might need to have surgery. This is quite rare, though. It is generally seen as an option of last resort.
Essential Oils for Bunions
Essential oils can help with symptoms of your bunions. Some of the specific oils that you can use are below. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil. This is important, as pure essential oil can cause skin irritation.
Lavender essential oil:
Lavender oil is derived from steam distillation of lavender flowers. This oil has been used for thousands of years for a variety of different purposes, including dressing wounds and repelling insects. It has a calming effect, as well. Lavender essential oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Eucalyptus essential oil:
Eucalyptus oil is created from the steam distillation of eucalyptus tree leaves. It is useful in alleviating joint pains, including those caused by bunions. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosemary essential oil:
Rosemary oil is derived from the rosemary flowering plant. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has stimulating effects on the feet that can help them feel soothed and re-energized.
Lemon essential oil:
Lemon oil is created through the cold pressing of lemon peel. This oil has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sweet marjoram essential oil:
Sweet marjoram oil is created through steam distillation of the marjoram plant’s flowers and leaves. Majoram is not only effective in alleviating the pain of bunions, it also has a calming effect on the mind. This oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.
Wintergreen essential oil:
Wintergreen oil is derived from leaves of wintergreen plants. This oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and energizing properties. It is effective against aches and pains.
Peppermint essential oil:
Peppermint oil is generated through steam distillation of peppermint plant flower tops. This oil is effective in helping with a variety of problems, such as muscle cramps. The menthol in peppermint makes it useful.
Recipes and Techniques for Using Essential Oils for Bunions
Below are recipes and techniques that you can use for to ease the pain and soreness of your bunions:
Eucalyptus and sweet marjoram oil:
You’ll need 10 drops of eucalyptus radiata oil, 10 drops of sweet marjoram oil, eight drops of German chamomile, and eight drops of lemon oil, as well as fractionated coconut oil. A 10 ml roller bottle and a roller bottle remover tool are also needed. Use the roller ball remover tool to remove the bottle’s roller ball. Put the sweet marjoram and eucalyptus radiata, and then the German chamomile and lemon oils, in the roller bottle.
After that, add in the fractionated coconut oil. After you’ve pushed the roller ball back on to secure the bottle, shake thoroughly. Roll this onto your bunion three times each day. Lemon essential oil is photosensitive, so keep it out of sunlight as much as possible.
Sweet marjoram and German chamomile essential oil massage blend:
You’ll need 10 drops each of sweet marjoram oil, German chamomile oil, lemon oil, and eucalyptus radiata oil, as well as half a cup of fractionated coconut oil, and eight drops of wintergreen oil. A four-ounce amber dropper bottle and small funnel are also needed. Put the fractionated coconut oil into the amber glass dropper bottle, using a small funnel.
Add in the lemon, sweet marjoram, German chamomile, eucalyptus radiata, and wintergreen oils. Shake thoroughly after securely closing the bottle. Choose a cool dry spot for storing this. Massage your bunion with one teaspoon of this two times a day. Remember that lemon oil is photosensitive, and you should keep it out of direct sunlight. It is best to use this remedy at night, so you won’t be exposed to sunlight.
Lavender and peppermint oil foot soak:
Fill a soaking tub with hot water, and then add in 10 drops each of lavender and peppermint oils and half a cup of Epsom salts. You can soak your feet in this for at least 15 minutes. Do this at least three times weekly. You can do it more often if you’d like.
Mix three drops of almond oil with three tops of lavender oil in a bowl. Mix them well, and then apply to your bunion. Massage it in for between 10 and 15 minutes. Put some lavender oil on a cloth, and then wrap it around your feet. You should leave this on for several hours. Lavender has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and it contains compounds such as linalool and linalyl acetate.
Essential oil massage:
Choose one or more of the essential oils we have listed. Add several drops of it to warm coconut, olive, or castor oil. Use a thin cloth to apply it to your bunions. Massage it in the affected area for between five and 10 minutes, using your fingers. Do this each night before bed. If you like, you can do this two to four times a day for six to eight weeks.
Other Home Remedies for Bunions
Do foot exercises:
There are several different exercises that you can do to help alleviate the pain of your bunions. These include: the short foot exercise, the heel raise, and the toe spread. The short foot exercise is done by raising your foot arch without lifting the heels or curling the toes, thus shortening the foot. The heel raise involves bending your knees as you stand, lifting the foot’s arch.
Once you’ve done that, you have to raise the heel while ensuring that you don’t exert pressure on the big toe. In the toe spread, you need to keep the remainder of the foot firmly on the floor while spreading and lifting your toes. Use your little toe to touch the floor an shift your big toe towards the inside of the foot.
Another exercise is the resistance exercise. Use a small towel to wrap your big toe. Pull it in your direction, and then push the toe forward towards the towel. You can do this between five and 10 times. This should help with foot flexibility. Picking up marbles is another good exercise. To do it, put marbles behind you on the floor. Use your foot to pick them up and put them in a bowl. This will help with your toes’ flexibility.
There are a number of yoga poses that can help with bunion symptoms. These include yoga asanas such as the Janusirsasana (head-to-knee forward bend), Parsvottanasana (intense side stretch), Virasana (hero pose), and Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasan (three-limbed forward bend). You can take a yoga class to learn these poses.
Change your footwear:
Take care to wear shoes that won’t aggravate your bunion. Try to stick to low-heeled shoes that have enough width to properly accommodate your toes. Look for shoes that have soft soles, broad toes, and wide fronts. You can also use padded shoe inserts. They can more effectively distribute pressure. Avoid shoes that have heels higher than two and a half inches. Try to find footwear that is able to conform to the shape of your feet.
Use gel, felt, or foam bunion pads. They can prevent the shoe from causing friction against your foot. This will help to shield your bunion from further irritation. Talk to your podiatrist and ask for more information on where to get these pads and how to use them.
Tinctures, oils, creams, and ointments with marigold (also referred to as calendula) are often used by homeopathic practitioners to address the bunion discomfort and pain. It is the keratolytic and anti-inflammatory properties of marigold that make it effective in this way.
To extract marigold or calendula juice, crush the leaves using your hands. Put the juice on your bunion and let it dry. You can do this two or three times a day. An alternative is to buy a marigold (calendula) ointment at your local herbal foods store. You can use this two or three times each day for several days.
Chamomile offers anti-inflammatory properties. It can help with pain, too. Steep a chamomile tea bag in boiling water and then place the bag directly on your bunion. You can do this a few times a day. Drinking chamomile tea will also be helpful to your general well-being as it is calming and relaxing.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. The curcumin in it has pain-flocking abilities, as well. You can use turmeric both orally and topically. To use turmeric directly on your bunion, make a paste with turmeric powder and a small amount of olive oil. You can put this on your bunion three times a day.
To take turmeric orally, mix one teaspoon of the powder into lukewarm milk or water. You can drink this twice each day. If you’re interested in taking a turmeric supplement capsule, talk to your doctor first. Turmeric has a variety of health benefits.
Soaking your feet in an Epsom salt bath can help alleviate the pain of your bunion. It’s the magnesium in the salt that is useful in alleviating pain and inflammation. It will be especially helpful if you have calluses and corns. Mix a handful of Epsom salt into a small tub of warm water.
Let your feet soak in this until the water completely cools. After drying your feet, massage them with warm coconut or olive oil. You can do this three times every week. You can add Epsom salt to your baths as well, if you like. You can buy Epsom salt at any drugstore.
The application of ice can help with the inflammation and pain of your bunion. Use a thin towel to wrap a handful of crushed ice. Hold this to your bunion for between five and 10 minutes. Take 10-minute breaks between each application. You can do this two or three times. Ice can be used every day, as needed.
Massaging your feet will boost blood circulation, helping alleviate inflammation and discomfort. Massage your feet with warm coconut, olive, or castor oil for 10 minutes. Try to use a deep-friction massage using your fingers. You can do this two or three times each day.
Doing an Aspirin soak can help alleviate the inflammation and discomforts of your bunion. It can also soften the area, making the formation of calluses and corns less likely. Fill a small tub with lukewarm water, and dissolve two or three Aspirins in it. Soak your foot in this.
Leave it in there until the water cools. After you have dried your feet, massage it with warm olive oil. You can do this every day. Before doing this, do a patch test on your skin to ensure that you will not experience allergies or irritation from the Aspirin. Do not use this remedy if you have a sensitivity to Aspirin.
Eat more anti-inflammatory foods:
There are many anti-inflammatory foods that you can add to your diet. Some of these include garlic, sweet potatoes, olives, ginger, walnuts, tart cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and turmeric. Some foods that can cause inflammation that you should cut down on include corn oil, red meat, whey protein, eggs, refined sugar, processed meat, refined grains, and refined salt.
Increase your intake of vitamins E, C, B complex, and A:
Try to get more of these vitamins in your diet. You could also consider taking vitamin supplements. You can consult with your doctor about dosages.
Castor oil can help with the inflammation of your bunion. Heat up half a cup of castor oil in a pan. Put a thin cloth in the oil, and then use this cloth to wrap your bunion. Put a towel over this to make sure the heat stays in. This will boost blood circulation. You can do this three times daily. You can buy castor oil at any drugstore.
The capsaicin in red pepper can help alleviate discomfort and pain. After cutting a red pepper in half, put the juice on the affected area. Apply some petroleum jelly as well, and then use a bandage to cover the area. You can do this two times daily. Remember to wash your hands right away afterwards.
Massage your bunion and the foot as a whole with warm olive oil. You can do this two times each day. This will boost blood flow and help facilitate better movement of synovial fluid, which is important in lubrication of the joints and promote healing. Olive oil is also healthy to ingest. There are many ways that you can add it to your diet.
Ginger offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. To use ginger for your bunion, you can mix ginger root or ginger oil with olive oil and use this to massage the affected area for 15 minutes each day. It is believed that adding ginger to your diet may also be helpful. Ginger is excellent for general health.
There are several active components of Bay leaves that make them effective. These include eucalyptol, linalool, lauric acid, and others. You will need between five and seven Bay leaves and 300 ml of water. Once you have crushed the Bay leaves, boil them for between five and 10 minutes. You can drink this every day in the morning. You can also have it during the day. Do this for up to two months. During this process, soak your feet in baking soda and water every evening.
Give your feet more rest:
Resting your feet more often will help with your bunions. This is especially important if you often stand up for extended periods of time. Take off your shoes when you rest. Try to walk with bare feet in the house on occasion. Doing so should help boost circulation and strengthen foot muscles and bones. If you are walking on carpets, though, wear some thick slippers or padded socks. Failing to do so could make your bunions worse.
Cust down on activities that could worsen your bunions:
Try to avoid doing activities that could demand you wear constrictive shoes. Such shoes could worsen your bunions. Always wear supportive shoes and arch supports when you run or go for extended walks. They will help to alleviate excessive pronation that could be making your symptoms more severe.
Being overweight puts more strain on your bunion. Take steps to lose weight if you need to do so. Choose a healthier diet and get more exercise (while taking steps to avoid excessive strain on your feet). Try to find a low-impact form of exercise.
Pineapple contains bromelain, a component that can help with bunion size and symptoms. Try adding pineapple to your diet. This fruit will benefit your health overall.
Eat more lemons, kiwis, and oranges:
Lemons, kiwis, and oranges are believed to have components that can help with your bunion. Try adding more of these fruits to your diet.
Pumpkin seed and flaxseed oil:
It is thought that pumpkin seed and flaxseed oil can help with bunion symptoms. Try adding these healthy oils to your diet.
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