top of page
  • Writer's pictureChang Min Lee

Nonsurgical Treatments for Bunions

If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffer from bunions, you know that they can be a real pain. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be quite painful, making it difficult to walk or even wear shoes. If you're looking for relief from your bunion symptoms, you may be considering surgery. But before you go under the knife, read on for information about nonsurgical treatments that may help.

What is a bunion and what are the symptoms

A bunion is a deformity of the big toe that is caused by the joint at the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint) becoming enlarged and swollen. This can cause the big toe to angle towards the other toes, which can lead to pain, swelling, and redness around the joint. The symptoms of a bunion can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include:

-pain at the joint



-a bump on the side of the foot

-difficulty walking

Possible causes for hallux valgus or bunion

There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of a bunion, including:

-tight shoes

-high heels

-a genetic predisposition



-previous pain / injury in the lower extremity

-gait abnormality

What are the nonsurgical treatments for bunions to improve the hallux valgus angle?

There are a number of nonsurgical treatments available for bunions, including:

- Padding and taping: This involves using padding or bandages to protect the bunion and help keep it in place.

- Orthotic devices: These are custom-made inserts that fit into your shoes and help correct the alignment of your feet.

- Icing: Applying ice to the bunion can help reduce inflammation and pain.

- Medications: Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain.

Wearing shoe inserts or pads can help relieve pressure on the joint and may be one of the first-line treatments recommended by a doctor. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Applying ice to the area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can also be helpful in managing symptoms.

Patients should also make sure they are wearing shoes that fit properly and do not put pressure on the joint. This may mean avoiding high heels or tight shoes. And finally, avoiding activities that put stress on the joint, such as running or high-impact sports, is important in managing symptoms and preventing further damage.

When treating hallux valgus or bunion, it is important to look at the whole leg and spine in order to understand the biomechanics of the toes. This will help to determine the root cause of the problem and provide an appropriate treatment plan. If there is an issue with the biomechanics of the leg or spine, it may be necessary to treat these areas in order to improve foot function and alleviate symptoms.

The benefits of manual therapy for bunion

Manual therapy is a form of treatment that uses the hands to move the body's tissues. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including bunions.

Manual therapy for bunions may involve massaging and stretching the muscles and tendons around the joint. This can help to relieve tension and inflammation, which can improve pain and function. Manual therapy may also involve mobilizing the joint, which can help to increase range of motion and reduce stiffness.

Overall, manual therapy can be a helpful treatment for bunions. It can help to relieve pain and inflammation, as well as improve the range of motion. If you are considering surgery for your bunion, it may be worth trying manual therapy first to see if it provides relief.

The benefits of dry needling for hallux valgus correction

One such nonsurgical treatment is dry needling. Dry needling is a form of acupuncture that involves inserting needles into the muscle tissue to help relieve tension and pain. It has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

There is some evidence that dry needling may also be helpful in treating bunions. A study published in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy found that dry needling was effective in reducing pain and inflammation in patients with hallux valgus or bunion. The researchers found that the majority of patients experienced a decrease in pain and an improvement in function after undergoing treatment with dry needling.

If you are considering surgery for your bunion, it may be worth trying dry needling first. Treatment with dry needling may help to reduce pain and inflammation and improve function. Talk to your doctor about whether dry needling is right for you.

When is surgery necessary for a bunion?

If nonsurgical treatments do not relieve symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Bunion surgery involves correcting the deformity and realigning the toe. The type of surgery will depend on the severity of the deformity. Recovery from bunion surgery can take several weeks, and patients may need to wear a splint or cast during this time. Physical therapy may also be necessary to help regain range of motion and strength in the foot.

There are several factors that can help determine if surgery is the best option for you:

- The severity of the deformity

- How much pain you are experiencing

- How much difficulty you are having walking or performing other activities

- Whether the deformity is getting worse over time

If you meet any of these criteria, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem. Surgery for bunions involves realigning the toe and correcting the deformity. Recovery time can vary depending on the type of surgery performed, but most people experience relief from pain and are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks.

Are there any risks associated with bunion surgery?

As with any surgery, there are always risks associated with the procedure. Some of the potential risks of bunion surgery include:



-blood clots

-nerve damage



SKYE Physiotherapy Can Help You Recover from Bunion without Requiring Surgery At Our Ellicott City, MD office!

If you are experiencing symptoms of a bunion, it is important to see a physical therapist for diagnosis and treatment. At SKYE Physiotherapy, we use holistic manual therapy, dry needling, corrective exercises, and posture & performance training to help you successfully recover from hallux valgus or bunion. Our team of physical therapists will work with you to improve range of motion and strength in your foot, as well as relieve pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your recovery!

Chang-Min (Skye) Lee, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, COMT, CMTPT

8000 Locust Mill Street Suite P Ellicott City, MD 21043

(410) 357-6500

83 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page