There are several bunion non-surgery treatments that you can try to help reduce bunion symptoms and alleviate pain. These generally fall into two main categories: those you can buy over the counter at the pharmacy and those you will need a doctor or podiatrist to prescribe. Let’s look at the over-the-counter treatments first.
Over-the-counter bunion treatments:
Pain-relieving medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used when you have flare-ups and to alleviate short-term pain. These can be bought over the counter or in the supermarket. However, you must always follow dosage instructions, and painkillers are not a long-term solution. If bunion symptoms persist or the pain does not diminish, you may need to see a doctor. There are also non-steroidal creams available that you can apply to the affected area that might work.
Healthcare professional required treatment:
If you see a doctor or podiatrist, they may recommend using a splint at night to keep the toe straight. This can help to prevent the bunion from worsening. The same goes for toe spacers and other orthotic remedies. If the pain is more severe, doctors may also be able to prescribe some more powerful pain medication.
With a combination of preventative measures such as taking better care of your feet, exercises, padding and inserts, as well as input and advice from your doctor, it may be possible to avoid surgery altogether. Many people see noticeable improvements in their bunions or live virtually pain–free once they have made suitable adjustments. However, surgery may be necessary if you have tried all the above and are still suffering pain or the bunion symptoms are worsening.