Foot disorders are a leading cause of health concern in the United States, especially as more and more adults are expected to enter the latter part of the lives and suffer from foot complications. If you are caring or an aging parent, it is important to become familiar with the complications that may develop, especially the unique health risks associated with bunions. Some shoes can be modified by stretching the areas that put pressure on your toes. Splints to reposition the big toe and orthotics (special shoe inserts shaped to your feet) also may relieve pain For bunions caused by arthritis, medications can be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling. Willow is the natural form of aspirin and has been used for centuries as a pain aid. You can take fresh willow internally by making a tea or make a paste from crushing the bark of a willow tree and applying it directly to the bunion. Clove oil has been used by dentist in the treatment of toothaches but shows promising results as a pain reliever when applied to bunions and corns. Sundew is an age-old folk remedy used to treat warts, corns and bunions. You can take the fresh plant and apply it directly to the affected area. To relieve the pressure and pain you can change your footwear to new soft shoes that are wider and give more room in the toe box area. In more severe cases like when the hammer toe becomes more rigid, surgery is required to correct the deformity. Your Podiatrist can advise on toe exercises that can be done at home, like stretching and strengthening the muscles. Hammer toes never get better without intervention. Orthoses also help to re-align and re-balance the feet. Post a hammertoe or bunion surgery, there will be special dressings which will be needed by you to wear for almost a couple of moths during the recovery time. In the case of advanced bunions, even doing these exercises with the use of a rubber band may not be enough to overcome the diversion of the big toe if it is already pulled so far sideways that the flexor and extensor muscles of the toe get crisscrossed. As a result, when you lift your big toes in the toe exercises, these muscles only pull the toes further sideways, like an archer drawing his bow, and the exercises will not work. In this case, surgery may be necessary, especially if it becomes too painful to stretch and work the muscles of the foot effectively. Rediscover the Standing Poses Corns are small areas of hard, thickened skin, formed when the skin of the feet are under pressure. They are prone to developing on the tops and sides of the toes, because this is where shoes tend to squeeze the most. Corns are sometimes caused by hammertoes, which is a bent toe that rubs against the skin. They can be treated at home, with the use of over-the-counter medicine and regular exfoliating. However, some stubborn corns may require the care of a podiatrist for removal. Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis, including gout, which usually manifests itself in the big toe joint, can cause heel discomfort in some cases.