Most bunions are the result of wearing tight fitting and thus uncomfortable shoes.

Causes and Risk Factors

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than half of U.S. women have bunions. They go on to state that nine out of 10 bunions occur in women.

The main culprit for bunions is wearing tight, narrow shoes and high heels. Ill-fitting shoes also can cause corns, calluses, and hammer toes. These conditions can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. The sad part is the they are often completely avoidable.

A bunion is an abnormal enlargement of the joint at the base of the great toe. It is caused by inflammation of the bursa, usually as a result of chronic irritation and pressure from poorly fitted shoes. It is characterized by soreness, swelling, thickening of the skin, and lateral displacement of the great toe. The bursa is a fibrous sac between certain tendons and the bones beneath them.

Whatever may be the cause of the pressure to the big toe, it needs to end and fast. The health of your big toe (and all toes) depends on it.


When your feet hurt and there is pain, this means the shoes are too tight and you need to stop wearing the particular shoes causing the problem (pain). Change into shoes that properly fit and that are comfortable.

Healing Options

Bunions can be treated by simply switching to shoes that fit properly, are comfortable, and that don’t squash the toes. Surgery is really unnecessary in the majority of cases:

Feet should be soaked daily, especially after work, for a good 20-30 minutes. Soak the feet in warm water and 13 ounces of sea salt. You may add essential oil of Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, or Peppermint to the water if you like.

If you have corns and/or calluses, after soaking your feet gently remove the callus or corn with a pumice stone, Hindu stone, or emery board. But remember, calluses and corns will go away on their own if proper care is given, i.e. comfortable shoes are worn, the feet soaked periodically and oiled after wards, and/or massaged (reflexology).

Make sure you get your feet measured annually because as the older you become, the more your feet can grow and thus affecting the size of shoes you wear.

If you simply MUST wear high-heeled shoes with pointy toes, buy the shoes one-half size larger to make room for your feet as they swell. This little trick is used by fashion insiders, and allows them to wear high heels for hours pain free. Also buy high-heeled shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen. This simple strategy helps to keep bunions at bay.

To naturally reduce the swelling, redness, and inflammation of a bunion, oil the bunioned toe (actually, all the toes) with a good botanical oil such as olive, coconut, grape seed, or almond, and massage essential oil of Wintergreen, Peppermint, and/or Spearmint oil into the toes.

If you like, you can get your feet waxed periodically with paraffin wax. Hot wax treatment can greatly help with swelling of the feet and toes. Hot wax machines are pretty economical and can be purchased at department stores or stores such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

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