Home remedies

These remedies are meant to alleviate pain and soreness, but cannot reverse or prevent the bunion from forming.

If you’re already developing a bunion, try a toe separator from the drugstore to place in between the first and second toes for temporary relief. Icing and elevating the foot, especially after working out, may reduce swelling and pain. And again, choose shoes with a wide toe-box and soft fabric or leather so as not to aggravate the situation. Moleskin pads placed on the outside of the big toe joint can prevent further irritation of the skin.

Shoe inserts or custom orthotics may make walking a bit less painful. However they may also make your existing shoes tighter, putting more pressure on the joint. A doctor may suggest anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter pain medication or give you a cortisone shot to reduce swelling.

Another myth? Exercises designed to strengthen the foot muscles or stretch tendons will help reverse a bunion’s formation. Not true. Dance and yoga teachers may suggest exercises to stretch the tendons that are pulling the first toe on an angle, but this won’t help the bone that is already misaligned. These exercises may relieve some discomfort, but there is nothing other than surgery that will correct the bone misalignment causing the bunion.