Home Remedies for Treating Bunion Pain on Your Own

We have strong feelings about how bunions should best be treated. First, you should try all conservative treatment before considering surgery.

Surgery should be your last resort.

Second, you should see a good podiatrist for treatment if you have bunions. Although there is a lot you can do on your own to decrease the pain associated with bunions, to slow or stop the bunion from getting bigger, you need more sophisticated treatment. For example, if prescribed correctly, custom orthotics designed specifically for bunions have been shown to decrease the forces that cause bunions.

For an evaluation of your bunions in our Seattle clinic, call 206.344.3808 or use our Patient Portal for an appointment.

Video: Home Treatments for Bunions and Big Toe Joint Pain

If you cannot see a podiatrist right away, however, here are some bunion self treatments that you can do on your own to decrease bunion pain.

12 Step Plan for Natural Bunion Pain Relief

Try the plan for 1 month, if you still have pain, then see a podiatrist.

The products below are the ones we recommend to our patients and they are also affiliate links so we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if your order from the link.

Use an arch support to transfer pressure off of the big toe joint

1.  For athletic and walking shoes the best that we have found for transferring pressure off of a bunion is the FootChair Podiatrist Designed Adjustable Arch Orthotic  This unique orthotic provides maximal support due to an adjustable arch via pads inserted under the cover.

2.  For smaller shoes including high heels, flats and soccer cleats, the recommended OTC arch support is the FootChair Slim Orthotic with adjustable arch support.  It’s the most effective OTC arch support we have found to fit in women’s heels and flats.  It has the same exceptional adjustable arch support as the full-size FootChair but with a much slimmer profile. In addition it flexes to adapt to most heel heights.

3. Use a sandal or slipper with built-in arch support to wear around the house. This will act to decrease pressure on your big toe joint. We recommend the Vionic Sandals and Slippers for their superior arch support.

Use toe separators to improve alignment of the toe

Toe separators will not correct the alignment of your toe on a permanent basis, but while you are wearing them they improve alignment and often decrease pain. They are very inexpensive and worth trying out.

4. Use a Sandal Gel Toe Spreader when you are wearing your flip-flops. This soft silicone spreaders have a built-in slit for sandals/thongs. It wraps around the thong to  reduce friction and enhances walking comfort in thongs, flip flops, and sandals.

5. Use a separator between your first and second toes to prevent them from abutting against each other. The best separators are made of silicone. Try the Gel Toe Separator.

Provide cushioning for the bunion

6. Wearing the correct socks can help reduce bunion pain. Socks help in two ways. First by reducing friction on the bunion and second by providing cushion. Cotton is a poor choice for people with bunions because of high friction. Because it has low friction, no seam over the bunion and cushions the bunion from shoe pressure, our favorite sock for bunions is the Juzo Silver Sole Sock. Available in white and black.

7. Use a pad over the bunion deformity. The pads we have found our patients like the best is the Bunion Care Gel Sleeve. A smaller pad is the Silicone Bunion Shields.

8. Use a Bunion Splint at night to prevent the first toe and second toe from pushing against each other. These reduce pressure between the toes. There is no evidence they provide long-term straightening of the toe, but many people find they help with pain.

Decrease inflammation

9. Ice twice each day for 10 minutes each time.

Wear shoes that reduce pressure on the bunion and help big toe joint function

10. Find a shoe store with well trained shoe fitters to fit your shoes. You can find a list of shoe stores on our Shoe List. A good shoe fitter will not only lead you to the best fitting shoes, but can often modify the shoe to fit difficult to fit feet. If you don’t have a good shoe store nearby, these Orthofeet Shoes for Women and Orthofeet Shoes for Men work great for bunions as they have extra room in the toe box and are easy to stretch. Both casual and athletic shoes are available.

11. Stretch your shoes over the bunion deformity. You can stretch them yourself with a ball and ring shoe stretcher.

12. For very large bunions use a stretchable shoe: These Women’s Stretchable Shoes and Men’s Stretchable Shoes have a unique design that combines suede leather and spandex, which is both elastic and breathable. It stretches to conform to the contours of the foot, accommodating foot deformities, and eliminating pressure on bunions and other prominences. Provides exceptional comfort for feet with bunions, tailor’s bunions, hammertoes and bony prominences.  For Women     For Men

A home remedy will not get rid of your bunions. But you can use self treatment to decrease pain.

Don’t let your bunions or big toe pain get worse. Early treatment can prevent future problems. Call 206.344.3808 or use our Patient Portal for an appointment in our Seattle office.

For more information on bunions see the following pages:
Bunion Information 
Bunion Surgery

Video: What Causes Bunions and Pain in the Big Toe Joint