Podiatrists often recommend that patients with bunions undergo surgery to restore the normal structure of the foot and prevent ongoing pain. But what if you cannot have bunion surgery? Do you have to go on living with the pain and swelling forever? While there is no way to reverse or cure bunions without surgical intervention, there are ways to reduce your discomfort and prevent the problem from getting worse.


A splint designed specifically for bunions can prevent them from becoming worse and can also keep your feet from growing more painful throughout the day. You can find bunion splints at most drugstores, but a better option is to have one designed for you by your own podiatrist. This way, the splint will be perfectly sized for your foot, so it won't cause as much rubbing and discomfort. It will also press on all of the right spots to keep your bunions from getting any worse.

Note that to accommodate the splint, you will probably have to wear shoes with wider toe boxes. Wearing shoes that are too narrow will just counteract the splint and make the bunions worse. Once you get your splint, be prepared to do some shoe shopping. Most people find that they either need to buy shoes one size up or in a wider width than they did prior to getting the splint.

Epsom Salt Soaks

Epsom salts not only make your feet feel better, but they also reduce inflammation in the muscles surrounding your bunion. The magnesium ions these salts contain penetrate your skin and also work on the surface of your skin to reduce any surface irritation. Get into the habit of soaking your feet in Epsom salts at least a couple of times per week. Just toss a handful into a warm tub of water, and sink your feet in.


Pain relievers classified as NSAIDS actually do more than just make you comfortable. They reduce swelling in the bunion, which can prevent it from rubbing on your shoe or worsening. It's important not to take NSAIDS like ibuprofen or naproxen more than needed, but at the same time, you should not be afraid to rely on them when your bunions are overly swollen and painful. Taking a dose of ibuprofen at the first sign of swelling could mean the difference between being fine the next day and having to stay off your feet because you can barely walk. Your podiatrist can offer personalized guidance as to the dose and frequency at which you should take NSAIDS. Never exceed the dose recommended on the bottle without your doctor's approval.

With the methods above, you should be able to keep your bunion pain under control without resorting to surgery. Contact a doctor, like Family Foot & Ankle Physicians, for more help.