If you have a bunion, you probably know how painful this foot condition can be. However, there are many ways to ease the pain, for example, the simple gadget known as a bunion corrector. But do bunion correctors work?
What is a Bunion and The Main Causes?
Bunions are bony bumps and deformities that form on the big toes, affecting one’s daily activities. They are officially called hallux valgus, where the big toes tend to lean towards the second toe.
Although there is no singular cause of bunions, research has shown that foot disorders like bunions seem to be inherited. This means that there is a big chance you will have bunions if both parents do. In addition, some inherited factors like short calf muscles, short Achilles tendon, weak connective tissue, etc., can increase the risk of the foot.
Most likely, the bunions will be caused by the structure of your foot. This is why patients with flat feet are prone to bunions because their intrinsic muscles compensate when walking. Poorly fitting shoes are less likely to be a cause, but they can increase bunion pain.
What are Bunion Correctors?
A bunion corrector is something used to simply correct bunions, improve the positioning of a misaligned big toe and also reduce the pressure on the big toe joint by stretching or straightening the toe back to its natural position.
Some bunion correctors provide cushioning around the bunion area to relieve foot pain and minimize swelling. They come in different forms, including splints, toe separators, pads, and sleeves. But first, do bunion correctors work?
Do Bunion Correctors Work?
If you’re looking for a fast way to cure bunion correctors, it is unfortunate that a bunion corrector may not work. Bunion correctors are only designed to help separate the big toe from other toes and not help get rid of the bunions on your foot.
So, to find out how effective they are, we are going to review some of the main bunion correctors on the market today. Keep reading to find out.
Types of Bunion Correctors
1. Bunion Splints
A bunion splint is a device used to push the big toe away from the other toes physically. It is fixed over the big toe in an attempt to take it back to its normal alignment. There are a number of types of bunion splints, where some are more rigid than others.
Some bunion splints with hinges at the base of the toe to ensure a more natural movement. Most bunions are worn while relaxing around the house or sleeping because they are difficult to walk in and almost impossible to fit in a shoe.
For this reason, it is important to get a bunion splint that is comfortable because they are designed to be worn for several hours. They are often recommended after bunion surgery because they prevent the big toe from going in the wrong direction and ensure they stay aligned.
Do Bunion Splints Work?
A bunion splint won’t cure the bunions but instead, help stretch tendons and ligaments. These bunion splints are quite effective to use after a bunion removal operation where you need to recover your range of motion.
However, bunion splints are known to cause mild discomfort. This means that if you’re hoping to find a solution for painful bunions, this product may hurt your feet. Additionally, some people have said that their feet may become a bit smelly after wearing a bunion splint.
2. Toe Separators
Toe separators or toe spacers will prevent your toes from rubbing against each other. If you have bunions, you know how the joint can force the big toe to lean towards the second toe, causing a lot of discomfort and pressure.
A toe separator is designed to separate the two toes and also realign the big toe. They are either made of gel, rubber, foam, or silicone, and they are less expensive. Some of them will only cover the first and second toe, while others will cover the entire forefoot.
Unlike bunion splints, some of the toe separators can be work underneath socks or shoes. However, you may need to wear wider fitting shoes with a wider toe box for them to be able to fit.
Do Toe Separators Work?
Like all other bunion correctors, there is still no evidence that the toe separators can cure bunions or give a long-term correction for misaligned toes. They can only prevent overlapping toes and may also provide short-term relief.
Some athletes may use toe separators to reduce the pain in the feet and toes after doing high-impact activities. Additionally, toe separators are also used in nail salons when there is a need to separate the toes to avoid smudging the nail polish.
However, since the main cause for bunions is not necessary a dysfunction between the toes, then a toe separator might not be able to do much other than straightening and stretch some of the forefoot tendons.
How Long Should You Wear Bunion Correctors?
The length of time one should wear the bunion correctors varies from one product to another. For example, you might find that some bunion correctors have been designed to be worn underneath shoes and socks, which means that you can wear them for the better part of the day.
Foot and ankle surgeons recommend that such correctors should be taken off in the evening, and patients should not sleep with them on. Luckily, there are other bunion correctors that can be worn overnight because they might be too bulky to be worn under shoes and socks.
Best Bunion Correctors
If you’re planning to give a bunion corrector a try, here are some options you should consider;
1. ZenToes Gel Toe Separators
- Relieve Bunion Pain - ZenToes single loop silicone...
- Easy to Use - Simply slip the ring over your...
- Comfortable and Durable - The soft, flexible gel...
- Washable and Reusable - Medical-grade gel is latex...
- Based in the USA - At ZenToes, we aim to provide...
The ZenToes Gel Toe Separators are recommended for patients with mild to moderate bunions. It works to realign the big toe while reducing the bunion pain. It is made from a silicone material that is very durable, reusable, and washable, and can be worn with shoes.
2. Povihome 8 Pack Bunion Cushion and Protector
- Large soft gel toe separators separate the first...
- Big toe separators increase the spacers between...
- Gel big toe guards are made of durable, washable...
- Bunion pads fit better for large feet and the...
- Package: 4 pairs / 8 pack gel bunion cover
This product is made of a durable silicone material that is reusable and washable. In addition, it features a shield for the side of the toe which pads the area against the shoes. It comes in handy to correct bunions while relieving pain, and since they can be worn during the day or night, they are a cost-effective treatment.
3. Vicorrect Bunion Corrector
- BUNION PAIN RELIEF & PROTECTION: Our bunion...
- PREVENT DETERIORATION & POSTOPERATIVE RECURRENCE:...
- 24HRS CARE DAY-NIGHT SUPPORT KIT:...
- ADJUSTABLE SIZE & ANTI-SLIP STRAP: Fits most feet...
- EXCELLENT WORKMANSHIP AND RELIABLE: Vicorrect...
The Vicorrect Bunion Corrector is a support brace that has been designed to reduce pain and discomfort associated with bunions. It is adjustable and is normally used while sleeping, sitting, or resting. However, it may not be the best option for severe bunions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Bunions
1. How Do You Permanently Fix Bunions?
The only way you can permanently fix bunions is by foot surgery. There are two main types of bunion surgery;
- Conventional Bunion Surgery- It is one of the most painful surgeries with a recovery rate of 4 to 8 weeks.
- Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery- Minimally Invasive foot surgery is quite simple, and you can resume your daily activities with no interruption.
2. Can you correct a bunion without surgery?
In most cases, bunions can be corrected without surgery. Apart from bunion correctors, one can use custom shoe orthotics inserts to relieve the pressure on the joints, relieve pain and align the weight in a proper way.