The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Bunion Help: Non-surgical Aids for Bunions

Posted by on Friday, June 29th, 2012


We’ve addressed many bunion surgery issues this week: how to decide when it’s time to have bunion surgery, how to make your recovery easier, and the types of bunion surgeries that are typically performed. However, not everyone who has a bunion has to rush out and have surgery. While a bunion will not get better on its own, there are things you can use to manage the pain and perhaps keep them from getting worse.

The right shoes The first step you can take towards making your bunion feel better is to make sure your shoes fit overall, and that you’re wearing shoes with roomy toe boxes that allow your toes to lie flat. So yes, this means no pointy toed stilettos. Sorry, I know you think they make your legs look sexy, but they make your feet look horrible.

Orthotics Orthotics are inserts you slide into your shoes that help provide support and relieve stress on different areas of your feet. Orthotics will help spread out some of the pressure that pains your bunion when you put weight on your foot. A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) can custom fit your feet for the orthotic that’s best for your bunion.

Bunion pads One of the big problems with bunions is that they can rub against the inside of your shoes, causing them to become raw and painful. Bunion pads are simply little pads you can put right on the area that’s at risk for irritation and protect it.

Foot sleeves These perform the same function as bunion pads, but you slide your foot into these silicone gel sleeves like socks. The upside is that they protect a lot more of your foot and you don’t have to worry about them peeling or sliding off.

Toe separators Have you ever seen women sitting in a nail salon with little pieces of cotton or foam between their toes so their toes don’t bump together and mess up their fresh nail polish? That’s what toe separators for bunions are like–a piece of silicone gel that you put between your toes to keep them spread out. These give your toes a break from rubbing together and also help keep them in correct alignment.

Yoga toes These are similar to toe separators. However, instead of individual gel pieces that you fit between your toes, yoga toes are molded a single molded gel piece that has a compartment for each toe.

Bunion splints A bunion splint helps keep your big toe in proper alignment by pushing it outward, helping to stretch the tendons. They are generally worn at night and are comfortable enough that they won’t keep you up. There are bunion splints for day wear, but many people find them annoying or difficult to fit in their shoes. A bunion splint won’t make your bunion disappear, but they’re considered a very effective way to help prevent or slow down the inward drift of your big toe towards your second toe.

As always, it’s best to talk to a podiatrist to decide the best course of treatment for your bunion. If you have bunion treatment questions or any other foot or ankle issues, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.