The One About the Painful Bunions

Dear Dance Diva,

I think I may have bunions or possibly osteo-arthritis in the great toe joints on both of my feet. They are chronically stiff and swollen which makes dancing incredibly painful. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this problem or at least cope with it? Quitting dancing is not an option!

Painful Peds


Dear Painful Peds,

I feel your pain. First off, make sure to invest in a good pair of proper fitting dance shoes and wear toe spacers between your great toe and second toe when you dance. Wear five-toe gel spacers and elevate your feet when you settle in for the evening. I wear mine to bed and even if they don’t stay in between my toes all night long, my feet feel so much better in the morning (Yoga Toes GEMS/5-Toe Gel Stretcher and Separators available on Amazon).

Alternate between applying ice and heat (either a heating pad or hot soaks with epsom salt) to reduce swelling, stiffness and pain. You may also try massaging topical arnica gel, warm olive oil, warm castor oil or the juice of a red pepper into the bunion, toes and foot for fifteen minutes twice daily. Use OTC pain medications as directed when all else fails. 

For more information on bunions and detailed instructions for care and treatment, click HERE.  

Bunions and arthritis can be very serious. If your foot/toe pain persists or increases, consult an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist.

Dance Diva

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