4 Ways To Manage Bunions Without Surgery

Bunions can range from mildly annoying to seriously debilitating. Regardless of the level of pain and annoyance that your bunions elicit, there are a number of ways that you can manage your bunions without having to result to having intensive surgery. Here are a few methods that can help you manage your bunions day-to-day.


Orthotics can help slow or stop the progression of your bunions by addressing the instability that causes the deformity. Orthotics are inserted into your shoes to help realign the bones in your foot and can also help in relieving some pain and pressure that bunions cause. You should keep in mind, however, that orthotics probably won't be effective for treating your bunions long-term.

While you can buy orthotics over the counter in drugstores, having orthotics that fit properly is key, so make sure you see a podiatrist or doctor who can help ensure you have ones that best suit you and your needs. Depending on the severity of your bunion, you may need to have orthotics specially made for you.

Change Your Footwear

Relieve pressure on your feet by changing the shoes you wear— continuing to wear your old shoes will only exacerbate the issue. The initial cause of your bunions was mostly likely the result of wearing narrow, pointed-toe footwear. Chances are, if they caused those bunions once, they'll cause them again.

When changing up your footwear, you'll want to opt for shoes that are wider with a flexible sole, and make sure there's enough space to accommodate the bunion. When purchasing your new shoes, make sure the toe box is wide enough to accommodate your toes and bunion without any pain. Sandals, running shoes, and footwear made of soft leather are a few options you should consider when changing up your footwear.

Bunion Pads

Use a moleskin or gel-filled pad to protect the bunion. These can be purchased in drugstores, so it's a quick and easy way to manage a bunion. A moleskine or gel pad will act as a barrier between your toe and shoe, helping to reduce irritation and protect your bunion. While some bunion pads may be held against your foot with a loop that fits over your big toe, others are made with adhesive on one side so they can stick onto the bunion. Whichever bunion pad you choose, just be sure that your shoes are able to accommodate the moleskin or pad along with your foot, comfortably.

Pain Relief

If you find your bunions are causing you extreme pain, you may want to consider using painkillers to help ease any discomfort you're experiencing. It's important that you read the leaflet enclosed in the packaging and follow the recommended dose, so make sure to follow the directions properly.

There are a few over-the-counter painkillers you may use to help with painful bunions. Ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol are some medications that might be recommended to you to help reduce any swelling and relieve pain.

If your toe joint is swollen, you should use an ice pack, wrapped in something like a cloth or towel, to take help take the swelling down. Try doing this a few times a day in order to help with the pain and inflammation a bunion causes.

These are just a few methods of bunion management that you can try out if you aren't ready to go under the knife. Talk to your foot specialist about other methods of bunion management. If you find that your pain and discomfort is just too much, you might want to take the surgical leap if your podiatrist thinks that it's the right solution for you.