Feet ailments can pose a serious hurdle that could prevent you from going about your regular day-to-day activities. As they bring along immense pain and discomfort, it is necessary to find a quick and long-term solution.
One of the most excruciating pain could be felt due to the formation of a bunion. As such a phenomenon is more common, there are several solutions for the same. It is highly recommended to massage it to relieve pain. But what is the right way to massage a bunion? If you are unaware of it, read along and enlighten yourself with the most effective way to massage a bunion.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a common medical condition that leads to the formation of a bony bump on the joint. More precisely, it forms around the space where the big toe meets your foot. Scientifically, it is known as the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.
On average, 25% of the people have bunions.
As this happens gradually, the bunion eventually increases in size and sticks out of your foot. It could also make your big toe turn inwards, even with the possibility of moving on top of the second toe.
What Causes Bunions?
There are several reasons behind the formation of bunions. The most prevailing one believed by doctors is that it is genetic in nature. So, if either of your parents or grandparents were suffering from painful bunions, you have more chances of getting it too.
Other causes could be wearing tight and narrow shoes. Medical conditions like arthritis can also lead to bunions.
A certain kind of inherited foot type or foot injuries can also cause bunions.
How to Spot a Bunion?
It is relatively easy to spot a bunion. You will see a bulging bump on your feet, particularly at the base of your big toe. You might notice redness or swelling around your big toe.
Corns or calluses might also develop where the first and second toes rub against each other. Due to this, you will notice limited foot movement.
Proven Ways to Massage a Bunion
Bunions can be treated even with surgery. Yes, you read that right. You can avoid putting yourself through physical therapy or surgery by massaging your bunion in the following manner:
Hallux Valgus Release
Sit comfortably on a chair and rest the foot with the bunion on the opposite thigh. Hold the first and the second toes in order to separate them. Feel the area with your finger to locate the sensitivity.
Once you have located the sore area, place your thumb on top of the foot and another finger on the sore area. Apply the required pressure.
Simultaneously, use your other hand to bend the toe joint. You can even try to pull on your toe.
Move your finger on the big toe joint with varying amounts of pressure. Continue this for ten minutes.
You will require the help of a friend or a family member for this. Sit with your legs straight and ask the other person to stand while facing in your direction.
Ask them to use their thumb and pointer finger to pull on your big toe as they try to crack a knuckle. The pressure can be according to your tolerance level, but avoid keeping it too high.
While the toe pull is continuing, move your toe in different directions to provide an extended stretch. You can move forward, backward, and side to side while retaining the toe pull.
Repeat this five times till you feel a certain level of relief.
You can utilize electrical stimulation to massage your bunion.
Place one electrode on the top of the near, precisely near the toe joint. You can place the other one on the bottom of your foot. You can also place them on the top of your foot or across the arch.
Turn on the electric intensity to your required level and alter the massage settings. Relax and let the work get done to your bunion.
If you are experiencing pain and inflammation around the bunion, ice massage can be highly effective.
Take an ice cube or an ice pack and rub it gently on the bunion. Apply a little pressure for ten minutes. Do not keep the ice on the skin for too long.
This will reduce the swelling and pain.
Take a ball or a cylinder and place it under your foot. Roll it to and fro while covering the entire base of the foot, right from the heel to the big toe.
Put the required pressure while rolling it back and forth. Continue doing this for ten minutes.
Take a pencil with an eraser joined and apply pressure on the inner base of the big toe. If you do not have a pencil-like that, you can also use your fingers.
Find the sore spot and push it with the other hand while holding the foot to the ground. Push it for five seconds and continue doing it twenty times.
Other Ways to Heal a Bunion
Besides massaging a bunion, the following are some of the other effective ways to eliminate the pain and inflammation:
Wear Normal-fitted Shoes
Avoid wearing pointed heels and narrow shoes. Such footwear will not come in the way of the bunion or hurt in any way. Wearing open-toed shoes can help you heal faster.
If you are dealing with immense pain, you can take some anti-inflammatory drugs. It is best to get a doctor’s prescription so that you could be aware of its side effects if any.
You can cover the bunions with gel pads, so you get some pain relief and experience a soothing effect.
War, water with Epsom salt can go a long way in eliminating any foot pain and inflammation. Soak your feet in the water for twenty minutes and enjoy a relaxing experience.
Exercises for Bunion Pain
You can also try the following exercises for relief from bunion pain:
Sit on a chair with your feet six inches above the floor. Start by curling your toes for twenty reps of three sets.
Sit on a chair and grip your big toe by leaning over. Circle the toe clockwise twenty times. Likewise, circle it anti-clockwise twenty times.
Continue doing it for three sets on each foot.
Place your foot on the floor with your heel fixed to the ground. Start lifting and spreading your toes as much as possible.
Repeat this twenty times on each foot.
Put your foot on a tennis ball and roll it back and forth. Repeat this for five minutes on each foot.
You will require an exercise band for this exercise. Wrap it around both your big toes and pull it away from the other toes. Once the band is fully extended, hold it for a few seconds and repeat this for twenty reps.
Sit on a chair and place your foot flat on the ground. Raise your heel in such a way that the majority of the weight is placed towards the outside of the ball of the foot. Hold the position for five seconds and return. Repeat this ten times on each foot.
The bottom line
We understand that bunion pain can be excruciating and distracting for some people. But not to worry, as we have covered all the major solutions for such pain and inflammation. If the problem persists, we advise you to seek a professional’s help as soon as possible.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.