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Conservative Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment

Treatment for BunionsBunion treatment is often comprised of both surgical and non-surgical treatments. A bunion is a painful deformity of the joint located at the base of the great toe. Although ill-fitting shoes can trigger the development of a bunion, they are not the cause, according to Harvard Health Publications. It is important that bunions get treated because they can eventually cause damage to your other toes. If your bunion pain interferes with your activities of daily living, talk to your Vernal podiatrist about these conservative treatment options.

Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are designed to help evenly distribute the weight of your foot. This relieves pressure and pain, while helping to prevent further damage to the joint. Shoe inserts can be purchased at most podiatry offices and pharmacies, but they are not effective for everyone. If non-prescription shoe inserts fail to reduce your symptoms, talk to your Vernal foot doctor about custom made, prescription shoe orthotics.


Anti-inflammatory medications are effective bunion treatments because they relieve both pain and swelling. If you cannot tolerate the side effects from these medications, such as stomach upset, consider taking acetaminophen. Although effective in treating pain, acetaminophen, does little to relieve other bunion symptoms such as inflammation, warmth, and redness. If you need stronger pain relief, you can talk to your podiatrist about possible prescription pain medications or cortisone injections.

Proper Shoes

Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes provide more room for your toes. The roomier the shoe, the less cramped your toes will be. Also avoid high-heeled shoes because the steep incline places pressure on the irritated toe joint and raises the risk for further deformity.

Application of Ice

Applying ice to the affected joint is one of the simplest, yet most effective bunion treatments. The ice helps relieve pain, while reducing inflammation and redness. Always use a barrier between the ice and your skin to avoid frostbite or tissue damage. Apply ice up to 4 times per day, for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Bunion Pads

Wearing gel-filled or moleskin pads are cheap and effective bunion treatments. Bunion pads help minimize pressure from your shoes, and can help prevent friction from your bed linens from irritating your foot when you go to sleep. Always replace your bunion pads when they get worn out or dirty because they may lose their effectiveness.

If conservative bunion treatments fail to provide you with relief from your symptoms, talk to your foot & ankle specialist about surgical options. Recovery from a bunionectomy can take up to 8 weeks, and may involve physical therapy. After the 8 week recuperation period, relief from symptoms is usually dramatic and permanent.