For the sake of vanity and to get along with the latest fashion trends, we tend to do anything to look presentable. The fashion industry always has something to say, starting from your head down to your toes.
Who would have known that the popularity of pointed high heels and closed-toe shoes would cause bunions in our feet? A bunion is a bony, and painful bump on your big toe.
If you’re suffering from bunions (or even if your feet are fine, but you just want some preventative care), don’t fret. Toe separators for bunions can somehow fix this misalignment when consistently used. Let us talk more about this product.
Bunions are a foot deformity caused by genetics or the ill-fitting shoes you are wearing. The constant use of closed-toe footwear may cause the formation of bunions. Perfect examples of closed-toe footwear are high heels and pointed shoes. Clinically, bunions can be referred to as hallux valgus. Hallux means big toe, and valgus means angled inwards.
Aside from bunions, you can also develop other foot pain and deformities with constant use of closed-toe footwear such as overlapping toes, plantar fasciitis, crooked toes, and hammer toes.
There is only one way to find out if a toe spacer truly works, and that is through a clinical study. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a clinical trial in 2013 studying foot exercises combined with toe separators in the improvement of bunions.
There were fifty-six women with moderate hallux valgus or bunions who participated in the clinical trial. As part of the program, these women were assigned randomly to thirty-six different sessions for three months. Participants underwent several treatments like toe grip strength and exercises for hallux abduction and plantarflexion with toe separators.
Based on the clinical study result, interventions like exercise programs and toe separators help correct bunions in just a matter of three months.
If you can’t stop using closed-toe shoes and replace them with wide-toe ones, toe separators are good for your feet. You might be thinking that they are only used in salons for pedicures but toe separators have so many uses. If you are an athlete or have friends who are runners, you will learn that toe separators help foot injuries.
Aside from keeping your toes in the right position, which can reduce pain, toe separators can also prevent ingrown toenails and improve a particular foot condition known as hammertoe.
Toe separators are typically made out of pure silicone designed to normalize the space between your toes. They also strengthen your feet. Silicone toe separators can be soft or hard. So you have options depending on what your comfort levels are.
Using toe separators daily for ten minutes is a good habit. Doing this will prompt you to observe a significant difference in the spacing between your toes. At first, you may feel discomfort. As you become accustomed to the continuous use of toe separators, the pain will go away.
Speaking of pain, you can also go under the knife if you want to remove bunions completely or if a podiatrist prescribes it. A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in foot conditions and their treatment. A certain surgical foot procedure may take six weeks of recovery, so keep this in mind.
There are factors you need to consider when selecting the right toe separators for your specific needs. Having colored toe separators looks cool, but you have to know if the material and the design will help your feet.
There are double-toe separators made from hard or soft gel. These separators can accommodate two toes and have two connected rings that fully enclose the toes.
Triple-toe separators can accommodate three toes. Just like the double-toe separators, they are also made from hard or soft gel.
The most widely used are the full-toe separators that can separate all the toes. They are available in an open or closed design. Hard gel full-toe separators can separate your toes better compared to soft gel toe separators. These types of separators can be worn inside shoes. However, these separators don’t have specific sizes, So using soft gel separators is strongly recommended to those who have small feet.
Soft-gel separators are also perfect if you want to walk around or do your exercise routines. But there are models made specifically for mobility that usually come with a footpad for added stability and cushioning.
Aside from the soft and hard gel, toe separators are made in and of a variety of materials such as:
- Medical-grade gel: A non-irritating material. You can choose toe-separators made with a non-latex formula if ever you have a latex allergy.
- Foam: Used in salons and other beauty shops. These separators are ideal for polishing and cleaning your toenails, but don’t do the best job at separating them for health purposes.
- Stretch fabric: Keeps the gel part of toe separators from getting dirty and keeps your skin from irritation. It is commonly used for double- and triple-toe separators.
There are certain ways you can maximize the use of toe separators.
Using toe separators for the first time will give you an unwanted foot sensation and irritation. You can begin by wearing these separators a few minutes before or after wearing your footwear. Extend the time gradually, until you can wear these toe spacers all night for faster results.
To get the most out of your money, you can begin with budget-friendly toe separators before you upgrade to high-end toe separators.
You have to be aware that it takes time before you see results. Toe separators aim to realign your foot bones and rebuild its muscle. It is a process, and you have to be patient.
Do not forget the clinical study mentioned earlier. Toe separators are more effective if you also apply other solutions like foot exercises. Such exercise may include:
- Toe point and curls that you can do for 20 reps and 3 sets.
- Toe circles; grip your big toe and circle it clockwise 20 times. You can do this for 3 sets as well.
- Barefoot beach walking is the easiest thing you can do for foot strength. If you are not living near the beach where there is sand, you can buy sand and place it in a container where you can march. This procedure massages your feet and helps strengthen the muscles in your toes.
- Do a ball roll wherein you’ll place your foot on a tennis ball. Roll your foot back and forth for 3–5 minutes. If you don’t have a ball, a small glass bottle can be a good substitute.
If you don’t want to go under the knife, good foot exercises and the consistent use of toe separators for bunions are the best remedies to eliminate foot pain and the formation of bunions. Try them today!