Bunions are bony growths on the base of your big toe, usually protruding inward. You can fix bunions with surgery, which is the only method shown to work, but it's usually done when bunions are causing you a lot of pain while resting or walking.
A bunion corrector is a non-surgical remedy that straightens your big toe. Some people report that they aid in reducing pain, but there is still a lot of uncertainty in the field. Read on to discover how bunion correctors may help you cope with discomfort and whether other types of therapy are worth considering.
Bunion Statistics: You’re Not Alone
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, bunions result from prolonged strain on your big toe as it bends toward your other toes. They are quite common and tend to get worse with time. According to a study conducted in Australia in 2020, around 23% of people have them, and over 80% of individuals seeking medical treatment for bunions are 45 or older.
How does an orthopedic bunion corrector work?
When a bone or joint is subjected to strain repeatedly, your body develops excess bone in that region. For example, when your big toe bends in, more stress is applied to the interior aspect of your foot. This causes bunion development over time.
Bunion correctors are used to realign your great toe and put it back in its natural position. They come in various designs; some can be worn like a sock, while others are just spacers with padding attached to the side of the big toe.
What about splints?
Bunion correctors that are similar to wedges and splints are also available. By supporting your toe from the side, they keep it straight. Unfortunately, splints seldom fit in your shoes and should be worn at home.
These products, like all other orthotics, are designed to keep your toe in its natural position even when you're not wearing them. Bunion correctors work similarly to teeth braces in attempting to shift your toe back into its correct position over time.
Are bunion correctors really effective?
Unfortunately, bunion correctors have not been scientifically proven to fix the alignment of your toe or eliminate bunions. Nevertheless, they may help reduce the advancement of bunions and alleviate pain.
There's no denying that bunions can be painful. The deformity often leads to red, swollen skin around the base of the big toe, as well as bony bumps. Because of this, many people turn to bunion correctors in the hopes of finding relief. But do these really work?
There is some evidence suggesting that bunion correctors may help to reduce pain and inflammation. But it's still worth noting that the correctors will not change the form of your bones. Therefore, surgery may be a better option if you're looking for a long-term remedy to your bunion problem.
Of course, not all those who suffer from bunions are candidates for surgery. If you want to try using a bunion corrector, consult with a medical expert first. And don't forget: even if they can't completely cure your bunions, bunion correctors may offer some relief from the pain and discomfort.
Proven Remedies for Bunions
Bunion surgery is the only long-term treatment for excruciating bunions that cause chronic pain. Minor bunions may be treated with nonoperative therapy such as physiotherapy and pain relievers.
There are several surgeries doctors can do to eliminate bunions. Most of these procedures relocate ligaments, tendons, and the joint capsule to alter your bone structure. Surgery involves removing your big toe's bone at the base and the bone behind. In some circumstances, metal plates or screws are used to secure your big toe in place.
Your medical doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or athletic trainer may recommend the following solutions for your bunions:
- Physiotherapy can assist you in strengthening and stretching the muscles and connective tissues in your foot.
- Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other pain relievers can help with the pain. You may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) prescribed by your physician.
- Wearing low-heel shoes with plenty of room for your toes may help relieve tension on your bunion. To alleviate pressure, apply cushioning or compression to your bunion.
- Orthotics can help reduce swelling and pain in some individuals.
Bunions: Causes and How to Prevent Them
Bunions have an unknown cause. They are frequently inherited from family members, implying genetics may be involved. A short Achilles tendon or weak connective tissue might also contribute to their growth. Bunions are also more likely to develop if you have flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis, or a short calf muscle.
Tight shoes and towering heels are frequently held responsible for bunion development, although footwear is not considered the main cause. Some individuals who wear high heels or tight shoes sometimes never develop bunions, whereas others wear flats and loose shoes but still develop bunions.
How to Lower Your Risk of Developing Bunions
- Wear comfortable footwear that fits you.
- Avoid footwear that is too tight around your toes.
- Give your feet some rest.
- Stretch your legs and feet every day.
How to Look After Your Bunions at Home
- Wearing shoes with loose toe space is ideal. Also, wear low-heel or flat-heeled shoes with good arch supports.
- Arch supports, bunion pads, shoe inserts, and toe spacers are great options. They might assist you in shifting your weight when you walk to relieve pressure on your big toe.
- Prevent the swollen area from rubbing against your shoe; put moleskin or another type of cushion over or around it.
- Place a cold pack or ice on the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes as needed. To lessen direct contact, you may place a piece of thin fabric between your skin and the ice.
- When icing your toe, use something with a soft surface to prop up your foot. Try to keep your affected foot above heart level.
Conclusion: Bunion Correctors Relieve But Not a Permanent Solution
The answer is a little complicated. Some users find great relief from wearing them, while others don't see any recovery at all. They provide some needed relief but are not the permanent solution. If you want to eliminate bunions altogether, book an appointment with your podiatrist to discuss surgery.
If you want to try using orthopedic bunion correctors, it's important to do your research to figure out which one will work best for you and make sure that you follow the instructions carefully. We hope this article has helped you learn more about this product and given you the information you need to make an informed purchase.
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