Is the Holiday Season Making Your Bunion Hurt?


At NY Foot Health, we find that many patients with bunions are finding the holiday season not so merry and bright. A bunion is a bony protrusion on the outside of your toe (usually your big toe) that is caused by faulty foot mechanics. When the big toe joint experiences years of abnormal motion and pressure it eventually moves out of place and begins to drift toward the second toe. This produces the telltale bump. Defective foot structure can be inherited. Other conditions that can contribute to bunion formation include:

  • Arthritis or other joint disorders

  • Injury

  • Neuromuscular disorders

  • Flat feet

At this time of the year, there are factors that increase the pain caused by pressure on the bunion such as:

  • Being on your feet for long periods of time doing activities such as shopping, cooking, mailing packages, and socializing.

  • Wearing festive shoes with narrow, pointy toe boxes or high heels.

  • Doing lots of walking at the mall, to run errands and attend holiday festivities.

Tips for Relief

If you’re finding bunion pain is worse than usual, there are a few things you can do to make your foot more comfortable. Ask your podiatrist what treatment is best for you. Don’t currently have a podiatrist? Use our online directory to find one in your area.

  • Try using a commercial, non-medicated bunion pad over the bony prominence. There are many over-the-counter products available made of gel, felt and other materials.

  • Place a spacer between the big toe and second digit to help keep your toes properly aligned and keep the toes from rubbing up against one another.

  • Choose party shoes with heels that are two inches high or less and have a roomy toe box. If you must wear shoes that aggravate your bunion, consider putting them on only once you get to the party and taking them off when you leave.

  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel several times a day.

If the pain persists even after the holiday rush or seems to be getting worse. Make an appointment to see the podiatrist.

To learn more about how to better care for your feet, contact us.