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I got a bunion. What can I do to alleviate?
10 October 2011 | Incredulous Joe

Posted on 10/10/2011 12:25:10 PM PDT by incredulous joe

Turning to my FRiends for some medical guidance. I had a couple of quick questions in advance of seeking medical advice; I have what appear to be budding bunions. Actually my condition came on slow and seems to be advancing very quickly and, currently, it is affecting only one foot.

First some background:

I am 48 years old in and very good health.

About 2 years ago our business ~ a graphic design, web and marketing enterprise that I started with my wife 10 years ago ~ went south with the rest of the economy. We normally had contracts to last us a year and then everything just fell off the table; clients went out of business or stopped paying. Many Americans and FReepers fell int similar straits. I went back to school to acquire a license as a nursing assistant and got a job working at the largest long-term healthcare facility in our region. I work with long-term, dementia, rehab and hospice patients.

I really love my job, but it is very physical, particularly for someone my age. It doesn’t pay near what I used to make, but our business is coming back a bit and we are squeaking by. I have a pretty good health insurance plan and some decent benefits. I work with some awesome people and I serve really great folks, too.

Anyway, about a month ago I noticed some pain and swelling in the bone leading up to my left big toe. This is the foot which I go down onto and bend when I have to get low to assist people putting on clothes, serving up bedpans, emptying caths. In fairness, this is also the knee that I go down onto when I caught baseball for my son’s team, load wood into my fireplace or perform any other type of temporary function that requires hitting one knee. The foot has gotten worse over the last few days and it is pretty swelled up.

For now, I am going down on the opposite foot or not stressing my left foot. While I may not bend the foot, I am still on it a lot of the time, doing otherwise would be impossible.

My family has some other extenuating health issues and the cost to address this with a visit to a podiatrist or through surgery are not particularly good. Not right now. I’d like to try and alleviate the problem as best I can for a few months, if such a thing is possible.

I’ve seen some braces for sale on the web. They are called Wheaton Bunion Braces. Do they work? Can they help?

I wear crocs and always have in the workplace. They are soft and comfortable, but am wondering if I should wear something that would effectively bind and compress the area. Though I suspect the Wheaton brace might do the same thing, I really prefer the comfort of crocs.

I am 6’ 2” and 180. I could drop 7 to 8 pounds in a few weeks. Might that assist in alleviating my condition in the short term?

Long term, I have been told that surgery is the only option. I’m not thrilled by the prospect, but I will be in a better situation in the new year. I will also, hopefully, have a Certification as a Med Tech, which will take a considerable amount of wear and tear off these old bones.

So, in recap, my questions;

The Wheaton Brace? Anybody use it in a pre-surgery situation? Does it help?

Shoes? Stick with the cozy crocs or get into something for the purpose of compression?

Weight? Losing 7 to 8 pounds would that even make a difference?

Thanks in advance for any advice that might be offered.

Joe


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: bunions
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1 posted on 10/10/2011 12:25:16 PM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: incredulous joe

86 the Crocs. Go with a nice pair of Red Cross shoes and tell the salesman what is going on.


2 posted on 10/10/2011 12:27:48 PM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: incredulous joe

Call a Toe Truck.


3 posted on 10/10/2011 12:30:11 PM PDT by umgud
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To: incredulous joe

get yourself a giant blue ox and have him lick it for you. the coarse tongue will peel that sucker off in no time...


4 posted on 10/10/2011 12:30:46 PM PDT by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: incredulous joe

Outback has very good blooming..

Never mind.


5 posted on 10/10/2011 12:35:16 PM PDT by listenhillary (Look your representatives in the eye and ask if they intend to pay off the debt. They will look away)
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To: incredulous joe

http://www.premierpodiatry.com/advice-centre/conditions/bunions.aspx


6 posted on 10/10/2011 12:37:19 PM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: incredulous joe

Are you sure its a bunion and not gout?

What about compression socks?


7 posted on 10/10/2011 12:37:56 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
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To: incredulous joe

I’m incredulous nobody’s suggested shooting it off your foot with a 30-06.

Seriously, see an orthopod. Even out of pocket, a quick office visit will hurt you a lot less than a painful bunion. Probably a bunion. Maybe not, and a close look from a pro might turn something a bit more dangerous.


8 posted on 10/10/2011 12:40:11 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty
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To: incredulous joe

See a podiatrist?

Non surgical treatment of bunions:

http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/bunions.htm

Good luck.


9 posted on 10/10/2011 12:40:35 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: incredulous joe
12-step plan
10 posted on 10/10/2011 12:40:35 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: incredulous joe

My wife had a bunion removed. It was real surgery. She needed crutches for a month and assistance with a single crutch for another month. At first she had to wear a boot when upright and when lying down she needed an ice pack and elevation of the foot. It took a long time but healed perfectly and is totally normal now. Good luck.


11 posted on 10/10/2011 12:43:37 PM PDT by Rapscallion (DO NOT RESPOND TO RUMORS. Your freedom may depend on it.)
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To: incredulous joe

My wife had a bunion removed. It was real surgery. She needed crutches for a month and assistance with a single crutch for another month. At first she had to wear a boot when upright and when lying down she needed an ice pack and elevation of the foot. It took a long time but healed perfectly and is totally normal now. Good luck.


12 posted on 10/10/2011 12:43:59 PM PDT by Rapscallion (DO NOT RESPOND TO RUMORS. Your freedom may depend on it.)
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To: incredulous joe
I've had them since I was 16. I had to stop running track. I was also told surgery was the only answer. Because I'm a big wimp I kept putting it off. Seeing a co-worker go through rehab after the same surgery and still seeing her in pain to this day was enough for me to nix the surgery. Plus, the past few years I've really gotten into natural healing. Lots of D3, hyaluronic acid, and fish oil has taken my pain away. I don't even have trouble when the weather changes anymore. I did seek advice from a chiropractor as well, and he hooked my up with a masotherapist that showed me how to stretch my toes. Stretching those muscles and tendons does wonders as well.
13 posted on 10/10/2011 12:44:53 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: smokingfrog

Interesting link.


14 posted on 10/10/2011 12:45:25 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
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To: incredulous joe
Are you sure you have hallux valgus? 9 out of 10 bunions occur in women. This is often due to wearing tight fitting shoes, or a genetic condition.

Other causes of toe/foot pain can be strain or gout.

15 posted on 10/10/2011 12:46:56 PM PDT by NautiNurse (Rick Perry's 2012 campaign is Fred Thompson v2.0)
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To: incredulous joe

First, you need to procure a Dremel moto-tool and a coarse sanding drum......


16 posted on 10/10/2011 12:51:28 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Obama got mostly Ds and Fs all through college and law school. Keep repeating it.....)
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To: incredulous joe

Chuck the Crocs.

You need orthopedic shoes like Dr. Scholls.

They are softer as you land each step.

You are going to be on your feet all day and you need some sort of shock absorption.

If it were me I’d have shock absorption and I would get the best I could buy. Not because I have champagne taste but for durability of my bones, calves and veins.

There is also a very cool rubber insole you can get that is better than the Dr. Scholls and you may even be able to continue wearing your Crocs.

You’ll have to look it up as I running out the door to close a deal.


17 posted on 10/10/2011 12:52:21 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: incredulous joe; Mrs. Frogjerk
Long term, I have been told that surgery is the only option. I’m not thrilled by the prospect, but I will be in a better situation in the new year. I will also, hopefully, have a Certification as a Med Tech, which will take a considerable amount of wear and tear off these old bones.

The longer you wait out the surgery the worse it is going to get. Get the surgery as soon as possible so that the recovery time is the shortest it will be. A cast for six weeks vs. a boot for a couple of weeks. That is your decision. This advise comes from my wife who had the more severe bunion because she waited until I told her to go to a doctor. By then she had to have the Austin Bunionectomy with Internal Fixation - a much more involved procedure.

She has a bunion on the other foot but is no where as severe and should be routine. IF SHE GOES TO THE DOCTOR!

18 posted on 10/10/2011 12:52:55 PM PDT by frogjerk (Today is already the tomorrow which the bad economist yesterday urged us to ignore. - HAZLITT)
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To: umgud; incredulous joe

ROTFLMAO

Now that there’s funny. I don’t care who are.


19 posted on 10/10/2011 12:55:17 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Netizen

it’s unilateral and occurring on the foot that I which I bend and put the most pressure on.

The Wheaton brace looks like it might do the same thing as compression.


20 posted on 10/10/2011 12:55:40 PM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" Turkish Proverb)
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To: incredulous joe

How to Treat Bunions

A more serious sort of everyday foot problem is bunions, which are formed inside the foot, rather than on the surface. A bunion is frequently a form of arthritis, or bone degeneration. It usually takes the form of a bony bump on the outside of your big toe, although bunions can sometimes appear on the top of the big toe joint or even on the little toe (often called a “bunionette”).

More than four million Americans have bunions. Most bunions are painful because they’re accompanied by bursitis and/or because they’re so prominent that there’s no way to avoid bumping and rubbing them. A bunion may also force your big toe to point inward and rub against the next toe, eventually causing the second toe to become a hammertoe.

A common myth about bunions is that they’re caused by wearing high heels or other shoes that exert pressure on the outside of your big toe. While ill-fitting shoes can certainly make bunions worse, bunions are mostly hereditary. If your parents have bunions, you stand a good chance of having them, too. Bunions tend to come in pairs. In other words, if you have a bunion on your left foot, you’ll probably also have one on your right foot.

The best immediate treatments for bunion discomfort include the following:

Apply ice to the area several times a day.

Soak the affected foot, or feet, in a mixture of one cup vinegar to one gallon warm water.

Pad the insides of shoes with moleskin or foam rubber cut into a doughnut shape (the hole is for the bunion).

Switch to shoes with a bigger toe box, or, best of all, wear sandals that leave the bunion area exposed.

In the early stages of bunion pain, a doctor may prescribe orthotics (insoles) and exercises that may stabilize the foot and prevent further development of bunions. For continuing pain, however, you may need bunion surgery, which can often be performed on an outpatient basis.

Bunions are also troubling because they can lead to other foot problems, including hammertoe. Learn more about hammertoe and its treatments on the next page.

To learn more about treating and avoiding problems with your feet, visit:

Foot Injuries: Find out how to avoid unpleasant injuries to your feet, or at least reduce pain and prevent infection after they occur, with these simple suggestions.
How to Care for Your Feet: Learn how to keep your feet — and yourself — healthy and happy with these tips on caring for your feet, including selecting the rig


21 posted on 10/10/2011 12:57:35 PM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

I think that you’re right. This is my livelihood right now. Chances are that my insurance can help out with some of this, too. Once, I start losing time at work or going on light duty, I will have even more financial problems.

I hope to nip it in the bud.


22 posted on 10/10/2011 12:58:39 PM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" Turkish Proverb)
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To: Rapscallion

My wife had one removed also. Pretty much the same recover scenario. Once healed she was very happy she decided on the surgery.


23 posted on 10/10/2011 1:00:14 PM PDT by steveo (PETO-VT-IN-MARI-SVB-CRVCE-AVSTRALI-SEPELIAR)
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To: incredulous joe

Wide shoes works for me. A medical doctor would probably want to operate. A Chiropractor can adjust it and give you advice.


24 posted on 10/10/2011 1:02:29 PM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: NautiNurse

I really think it is strain caused by positioning, which I always just worked through. In addition to the swelling and pain, I also have some occasional numbness, which would indicate possible nerve damage.

I have an unusually high pain threshold and this has always worked against me with injuries or ailments which should have otherwise been treated early on.


25 posted on 10/10/2011 1:03:52 PM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" Turkish Proverb)
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To: Vendome

Thanks and good luck with yer deal!


26 posted on 10/10/2011 1:05:31 PM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" Turkish Proverb)
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To: Vendome

I’m not really getting the chuckles out the puns on the thread. If I go on disability I will be screwed. I’m pleased that some FRiends have come through for me with some helpful advice.


27 posted on 10/10/2011 1:07:55 PM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" Turkish Proverb)
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To: incredulous joe

Congratulations for the steps you have taken to get medical training and make career changes to stay afloat and move forward. And BLESS YOU for working with dementia patients.

As for the bunion... I don’t have much to offer. Buy shoes that are wide enough at the point of painful contact, and that do not slip around on your feet.


28 posted on 10/10/2011 1:09:04 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: goodwithagun
masotherapist

That's a new one on me - specialty is toes/foot? I agree, chiro is the way to go.
29 posted on 10/10/2011 1:22:44 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: incredulous joe

And the very same ones who are mocking now, maybe the ones searching for this thread one day to seek advice. I was thinking of gout, also, as one freeper mentioned. You may have a bunion but it could be gout that is making it inflamed. You might want to do a self test and check the foods that contribute to gout and see if there is a difference while waiting for a doctor’s appt. A regular GP should be able to diagnosis it. Foot doctors are into $urgery - so go to a GP to check for gout.


30 posted on 10/10/2011 1:30:36 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: incredulous joe
I hope to nip it in the bud.

You hold the key to this in your hand right there, FRiend. Good luck to you. It could be worse. I just had my second total hip replacement (within a year) last week. I pray your insurance is as good as mine.

31 posted on 10/10/2011 1:37:12 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty
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To: Cyber Liberty

http://www.wallace.net/sheep/maiming/callus.html

I use a full-size Sur-form wood rasp.


32 posted on 10/10/2011 1:41:04 PM PDT by tumblindice (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: umgud
Call a Toe Truck.

Make sure you call agood one - you don't want toemaine poisoning.

33 posted on 10/10/2011 1:41:31 PM PDT by frithguild (We admitted we were powerless over government - that out lives had become unmanageable)
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To: incredulous joe

I had a bunion repaired.

Doc put a screw in the bone to keep it straight. I recovered (stayed off of it) for 2 weeks, then wore a stiff shoe for a month. No problem after that. Never took a pain pill after the surgery, just Motrin. Not all of these have to involve a horror story. Incision scar is about 2 inches long.

A quick check - stand barefooted along a line on the floor. Feet together. Line your “good” foot up on the line, put the “bad” foot against your good foot. Does the big toe on your “bad” foot lean out toward the other (smaller) toes? Is it trying to dive over or under the rest of the toes on the foot? Or are your big toes about equidistant from that line?

You should see a doctor about any consistent pain, but if that toe on your bad foot isn’t misaligned, you probably don’t have a bunion.


34 posted on 10/10/2011 1:48:41 PM PDT by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: incredulous joe

Arch support is key as is positioning of the big toe. As a bunion begins to form, often the big toe is pushed slightly toward the other toes instead of staying in place and helping to support the arch of the foot (keep it from flattening - the big toe has a big job to play). With the big toe out of position, more of your body weight rests on the unsupported arch and this pushes the big toe even farther toward the other toes. The podiatrist I saw told me that as the big toe is oriented toward the others, there isn’t the normal wear down of bone occurring where it should in the ‘bunion’ location - the bone begins to enlarge in that area - forcing the toe to remain or move farther out of position while the tendons adjust to hold the toe out of position. Because I was ‘pre-permanent’ bunion at that point (my term not hers), she recommended anti-pronation (anti arches falling, basically) support shoes or shoe inserts to help take some of the force off of pushing the big toe out of position. I haven’t found anti pronation arch support athletic shoes that are inexpensive, yet - the Dr. gave me a coupon to an athletic shoe company in town and they fitted me to $120 Brooks athletic shoes that have, hidden in the arch, a block of hard support (can’t feel it but it’s there) and it is this extra support that co$t$ extra and is not found on less expensive athletic shoes.

Then she suggested toe separators - she didn’t know how long I would need to wear them and said it can take a long time but using toe separators to push the big toe back into position where it takes some weight off of the arch helps. So I’ll put a link here for the kind of toe separator that is cheap, comfortable and can be ignored (not irritating to skin etc.) when worn. Note that there are different sizes - one of these offerings shows multiple sizes in one pack - that might help you determine what size to wear. This kind of toe separator are available at drug stores.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gel+toe+separator&x=0&y=0

The podiatrist had her staff make ‘casts’ of my feet and then had those sent to a company that makes orthotics (shoe inserts) and those were fantastic! I went back 4 months later and asked that another set be made from the same molds - wish I had done that up front because I wanted a pair for both casual and work shoes. Insurance paid for the orthotics both times but I was so sold on them that I would have paid for the second set out of pocket but only because molds had already been made and paid for by insurance. I’ve since heard that a local ‘shoe/foot’ store will make orthotics for runners for $90. You can buy gel orthotics (e.g., Costco) but it is really much better to have them made to meet the needs of your specific feet. Or perhaps get gel arch supports only (not the whole foot)?

So I wear the orthotics. After awhile I stopped wearing toe separators because I was using foam (scratch, compressible) ones that were irritating and the orthotics felt so good. I also made sure to purge any shoes that emphasized shifting the big toe out of position (shoes too pointy or with a tight seam across the toe box, or narrow toe box).

I recently started having pain in the bunion forming area and have started wearing gel toe separators. Pushing the toe back into position created odd achy foot pain as the arch and rest of the toes had to get used to it. After about 3 weeks of new adjustment pain - the bunion area joint feels great and I have gotten used to the gel inserts. I can still feel some tendon soreness but it is going away. The whole foot feels better AFTER it gets used to it. The left foot with this issue now feels entirely better so I am going to start wearing gel toe separator on the right foot (between the big toe and its neighbor) as I suspect some faint arch pain that I can ignore is due to slight shifting of the big toe.

Lastly, see if you can reduce inflammation. I discovered recently that my EFA 3’s and EFA 6’s were out of balance and that was causing excessive inflammation. I was using almond flour to make breads and using grape seed oil and other things that have 10’s of thousands of the wrong kind of EFA’s (I think it’s 6s) so I cut down on those and boosted my fish oil supplements that had more EFA 3s’ Strangely, inflammation went way down in my foot and an old knee injury that had been acting up. If I have almond bread for a few days, the inflammation comes back. I also take co-enzyme Q10 for sleep but I have read it is anti-inflammatory. In other words, have a look and see if there is some easy changes you can make to your diet or supplements that might reduce inflammation. And good luck! :)


35 posted on 10/10/2011 1:49:24 PM PDT by ransomnote
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To: incredulous joe

There are various surgical and non-surgical treatments that may work to varying degrees.

My wife’s doctor basically sanded them down and fitted her for orthotics that made it worse.

I always kid her that I could treat her problem more cheaply by just plugging in the Dremel or the belt sander but for some reason she has never bought into that idea.


36 posted on 10/10/2011 1:53:21 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: incredulous joe
I have a hemorrhoid.

How do I post a pic?

37 posted on 10/10/2011 2:01:24 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: incredulous joe

38 posted on 10/10/2011 2:03:24 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: incredulous joe

What’s a bunion? (Before you flame me, know that I did make an honest effort to find it in my Rhyming Dictionary, but it don’t show up!)


39 posted on 10/10/2011 2:04:50 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: incredulous joe

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/bunions.html


40 posted on 10/10/2011 2:09:18 PM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: MARTIAL MONK
"I have a hemorrhoid. How do I post a pic?"

Got you covered, buddy!

Photobucket

41 posted on 10/10/2011 2:28:20 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: incredulous joe

We have an outfit around here called Ideal Feet that measures the pressure points on your feet and sells you inserts to fix the problem.

The cost was high but the relief from the problems I have had for over 15 yrs was worth every penny. I would recommend looking into running shoes also.


42 posted on 10/10/2011 2:34:34 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: Clay Moore

That’s it!


43 posted on 10/10/2011 2:41:02 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: incredulous joe

PS: the link I gave you for gel toe separators included some I had not tried so here’s a better, more specific pic of the separators I find comfortable: http://www.amazon.com/Visco-Gel-Toe-Spacer-Medium-Pack/dp/B002WQ1AKE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1318282450&sr=8-2

Also - when I wore toe separators the first time I kept forgetting to use them. This time, I began wearing it to sleep (sock over my foot to keep it from dislodging) and even in the shower (made of gel - a good time to wash them) and I believe this helped rapidly get me to a point of comfort in a few weeks (faster than it was happening before) and this may be why I had more discomfort as the new position for the toe was maintained around the clock instead of during shoe wearing hours only and this brought about alot of realignment of the foot in a rather short space of time.


44 posted on 10/10/2011 2:43:39 PM PDT by ransomnote
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45 posted on 10/10/2011 3:17:03 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: incredulous joe
The Mayo Clinic has useful recommendations on their website.

I'll add one remedy that will sound crazy but that will work. Get a small bottle of citrus oil (lemon, lime, or orange) as is used in aromatherapy. Natural food stores like Whole Foods and many vitamin stores carry aromatherapy oils. A single bottle should cost less than $10.

Apply a few drops of the oil to the bunion by dabbing it from the upside down bottle. Avoid any open cuts and do not get any in your eyes, as can occur through indirect transfer from the hands. Do not let pets have any contact.

The oil is thin and will quickly penetrate the skin, reducing both pain and inflammation. Add more as the oil absorbs into the skin. Several applications a day are likely to be necessary.

The science behind this is that citrus oils contain a compound called limonene that has proven anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects. Bengay works in a similar manner by way of analgesic compounds in eucalyptus oil, but with the disadvantage of a heavy medicinal smell.

46 posted on 10/10/2011 4:22:38 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: incredulous joe
it’s unilateral and occurring on the foot that I which I bend and put the most pressure on.

That doesn't mean that it can't be gout. I have bad bunions on each foot but they don't hurt, which is why I asked if it could be a gout flare up.

47 posted on 10/10/2011 4:47:10 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
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To: incredulous joe

I understand the reprecussions considering where you were in your life and where you are currently.


48 posted on 10/10/2011 5:32:07 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: incredulous joe

Sounds more like a sprained toe to me, not the classic bunion.......


49 posted on 10/10/2011 5:56:47 PM PDT by Red Badger (Furthermore, I think Obama must be impeached....................)
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To: incredulous joe

This is what I was talking about.

I’m going to a local store tomorrow to see if they have them.

http://store.1000mile.co.uk/products/category/1347.0.4.3.98942.0.0.0.0


50 posted on 10/10/2011 7:51:51 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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