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How To Treat Bunion Pain Without Surgery


Have you noticed a painful bump at the base of your big toe? Are you looking for ways to treat your bunion that don’t involve surgery?

Well, I have good news for you. Bunions can be treated, bunions can be pain free, and you can keep them from getting bigger – all without surgery!

Here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY, we have successfully helped people return to walking, running and dancing pain free even though they have bunions. Our people have been able to stop the progression of the bunion so that they never have to think about surgery.

Ready to learn more about the steps you can take to eliminate your bunion pain? Then read on!

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are abnormal bony prominences that form at the base of the big toe. You may also have a bunion at the base of your little toe but these are more rare. The bone builds up in regard to stress. Bunions are a sign that your body is laying down extra bone to try and stabilize an area. In order to stop more bone being laid down you need to stop the stress that is causing the bone to form in the first place.

What are the Symptoms of a Bunion?

There is a bony lump on the outside of the toe joint. These most commonly form at the base of your big toe but can also occur on the little toe.

PAIN in this bony lumpy area. Pain will increase with walking or wearing shoes that are tight in the toe box. Since women are more likely to wear shoes that force the toes together they are more likely to suffer from bunions.

Swelling or redness in this area. This will increase with shoes that cause increased stress on the bunion and with prolonged walking. Wearing heels also puts increased stress along the area where bunions form.

As the bunion progresses, you may see a callus start to form. This is a sign that your body is laying down extra skin to try and protect the area from rubbing on your shoes. A callus is not good or bad, it’s just a sign that your body feels like this is an area that needs more protection.

Eventually, you will have decreased motion in this joint. When your big toe is not able to move correctly, it will affect how you are walking. This can lead to increased stress on your knees, hips, and low back.

What Can You do if You Have Bunion Pain?

Protect the bunion from rubbing against your shoes with moleskin or a gel pad. This will help to decrease skin irritation and callus formation.

Use ice to decrease pain. Applying ice every evening for 3-5 minutes will help to decrease the pain. If possible, apply ice during the day to decrease the pain at regular intervals.

Soak those feet in some warm water. This helps to decrease muscle tension and pain symptoms. While your at it, try wiggling those toes around and get them stretching. Simply lifting the toes up and down in the water can help to maintain motion and decrease pain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help to decrease pain. However, these drugs are not good for you gut so only use them sparingly. I usually recommend people only use these drugs when they are not able to sleep due to pain. They are a band aid treatment that will help decrease the pain for short periods of time but they don’t provide any long term value.

Can You Stop the Progression of Bunions?


We have helped many people to decrease the progression of bunions so they are able to walk, run, and dance pain free. Without having to worry about this situation get worse.

We had one patient, Judy, who came to us in tears because her doctor had told her the only option to deal with her bunion pain was surgery. She wanted to try everything possible BEFORE surgery. While performing the evaluation, we realized that Judy had bunions due to increased force through her foot – because her hip was weak and tight!

By getting her hips, knees, and feet moving better, we were able to get Judy back to her daily walks pain free. And, her bunions stopped getting bigger.

Judy was so happy to be able to take her daily walks and not even have to consider surgery.

Is this what you are looking for? Then read on to find out more about the initial steps in Judy’s journey!

How Can You Stop the Progression of Bunions?

Exercise! Yes, there are actually exercises that are specifically designed to stop the progression of bunions. I admit that it may sound a little weird to do foot exercises. Strengthening the muscles in the foot can significantly improve stability in the foot. Which leads to less stress on your bunion.

Wear shoes that have a wide toe box so you aren’t getting pinching or pressure on the bunion. Pressure along the base of the toes (there are called the metatarsal heads or “met heads”) is what causes bunion growth. Make sure your piggies have enough room to move.

Wear low healed shoes to decrease pressure through the base of the toes. Sorry, ladies, but those stilettos need to move to the back of the closet.

Use shoe inserts that properly support your foot to decrease stress in this area. You can start with an over the counter insert to see if this helps you find some relief. If the inserts are helpful, you can have a custom orthotic made for your specific feet.

Weight can be a factor in bunion formation. You may find that taking off a few pounds can help to decrease stress through your foot.

We have successfully helped people just like you who are struggling with bunion pain to not only decrease the pain but also decrease the progression of bunion formation. If you would like to hear more about our process and how we can help you with your bunion pain, then we encourage you to sign up for a Free Discovery Visit. This is a great option for people who refuse to have surgery and are looking for other options.

Please, if you are suffering from bunions, think carefully before getting surgery. Dr. Amy is always hesitant with surgeries on the foot or hand. That’s because there are so many joints that are affected by surgery. Often people find they are saddled with other problems after the surgery.

If you would like to find out more about other options or if you refuse to have surgery, please contact us for a Free Discovery Visit. During this free visit we will hear more about your journey and you can learn more about our process. Then you can make the best decision regarding your bunion treatment.

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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