Skip to comments.I got a bunion. What can I do to alleviate?
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 doesnt 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 sons 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. Id like to try and alleviate the problem as best I can for a few months, if such a thing is possible.
Ive 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. Im 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I understand the reprecussions considering where you were in your life and where you are currently.
Sounds more like a sprained toe to me, not the classic bunion.......
This is what I was talking about.
I’m going to a local store tomorrow to see if they have them.
What about taking d-limonene capsules?
Capsules taken orally would not attain a local concentration high enough to be effective for relief of pain and inflammation of a bunion.
Would they help prevent future flare ups?
It might do so for a few days, based on my experience with using citrus oil for persistent post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain).
Why would taking the capsules only help for a few days and not help be a preventative?
Capsules taken orally would almost certainly not work because they would not attain a high enough concentration at the site of bunion to be effective. Topical use of citrus oils on the bunion though should attain a high enough concentration and ought to help. Once the inflammation and pain were relieved, the effect might last several days.
I had done that with my feet ~ lined them up. I don’t see the “leaning of the big toe” but where the joint of the metatarsal connects to the foot there is a bulge, which I have taken to be a classic symptom. It is significant when compared to the other foot. I think the advice to see a doc is probably best.
These last few nights I have worn stiff shoes, which do not allow me to flex that part of my foot, and I have kept my foot flat to the ground. I have had less pain.
A friend of mine at work had the surgery that you mention. She said it worked, but that she had to stay off the foot for a month. That would literally kill me.
In the new year, I hope to be certified as a Medicine Aide; which means less stress and strain on this 48 year old body.
Thanks again for the helpful advice. I’ve been a FREeeper for many years and am genuinely surprised by a good bit of the adolescent nonsense posted on this topic. I’ve always found good advice in the threads, or at least well meaning suggestions from an audience that could be counted on for constructive feedback.
FrogDad had a calcium deposit in the joint of the big toe, looked like what you describe.
Good luck with your doctors visit, getting old isn’t for sissies!
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