Your bunion pain is worsening no matter which shoes you wear. The pain which was once tolerable now demands more attention than buying over the counter solutions. You see your podiatrist who immediately sees the deformity, takes an x-ray, and then immediately says you need surgery to remove the bunion and relieve the pain. Is this the best way to proceed? Maybe not.
Your podiatrist will tell you that nothing short of surgery can realign the bones forming the bunion (typically the first metatarsal and the two big toes bones). She is correct so far. But is surgery the only way to reduce the pain and make life more enjoyable? In other words, is surgery the best way to improve your quality of life? In fact, there are non-surgical ways to treat bunions and bunion pain. They certainly will not fix the bunion but they may reduce the pain so that you need not go through the risk and inconvenience of surgery.
There is not much in the scientific literature evaluating the effectiveness of the non-surgical ways to reduce bunion pain. One study which was recently published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, (July/August 2017, Vol 107, No. 4), however, entitled “Evaluating Quality of Life In Patients with hallux Abducto Valgus Deformity,” demonstrated the effectiveness of taping the foot as a way of improving quality of life. The authors made it clear that this was not the best study since it involved only 35 patients, all evaluated by the same podiatrist, and there was no control group. But they did show that quality of life improved in patients who had 10 hours per day of taping, for four weeks.