A bunion, which is scientifically known as Hallux Valgus, is a deformity of the base joint of the big toe. As a result, it will form a swelling on that big toe joint. This condition is common among sportspersons and athletes. There are many causes of bunion development, but we won’t be looking at that today.
Rather, we will be looking at one of the treatments of bunions. Have you ever heard of orthopedic bunion correctors? What are they and how do they work? Above all, do they help to treat bunions? We shall be looking at that in this article.
What Are Orthopedic Bunion Correctors?
These are sleeves designed to be worn around the big toe to fix the swollen bunion. These correctors usually come with a soft and cushioned surface to give the wearer a comfortable feel.
They have been designed differently, and some will correct the bunion in just a few days. Furthermore, these correctors will also help to straighten the toe. The best part is that they are pain-free.
What Exactly Do Bunion Correctors Do?
Bunion correctors are also known as separators, and they specifically help to fix the swollen-toe condition. These sleeves will fix hammer toes, overlapping toes, as well as bunions.
They come in the form of a fabric sleeve or gel that slides over the big toe or all the toes. Furthermore, the correctors will have some design that wraps around the entire foot as they separate the big toe.
A bunion splint will come with a different design, which will feature a straight and rigid stick. The stick may or may not come with a hinge for flexibility.
Regardless of the design of the corrector, they will all have one function – to separate the big toe from the other toes. This is why they are also called the ‘separators’.
If you have a bunion, which includes symptoms like swelling and sore skin, aches and pains, calluses, corns, and more, then you will need the separator. This is because the condition will worsen if the big toe rubs against the other toe.
The more the big toe rubs against the neighboring toe, the more it will point inwards. The attached foot bone will then stick outwards in this case. As a result, the bunion symptoms will only get worse.
So generally, the bunion corrector will help to separate the big toe from touching the neighboring toe.
How about the bunion protectors?
There are plenty of bunion separators and correctors that can be grouped as bunion protectors. However, it is important to note that a bunion protector will not necessarily be a separator or corrector. For instance, a bunion pad, which is a protector, will be designed to protect the bunion and not separate the big toe from other toes.
So in simple terms, a bunion protector is a product that is designed to protect the bunion from rubbing against the inside of your footwear. A bunion protector protects your big toe (bunion) against the shoes or sandals. The protector helps to prevent soreness and inflammation.
Are Bunion Correctors/Separators Effective?
The question is not only about how the bunion correctors work. Rather, it is important to know if these sleeves can work or not. To be honest, you can find several Orthopedic Bunion Correctors that can enhance the healing of a bunion.
Generally, the effectiveness level of a bunion corrector depends on the severity of the bunion. Most people with bunions won’t require surgery. In this case, the correctors help to relieve pain and reducing the corns, calluses, and swelling.
Plus, the bunion correctors will slow down the changes in the shape of your feet. Usually, the change in the shape of your feet will be brought about by the bone joint being pushed out as the bunion develops. Here, you will start experiencing tight shoes that were once comfortable to you.
If you are starting to experience tight shoes that were comfortable, it will mean that the bunion is gradually entering the severity level. Luckily, a pair of gel-bunion correctors can help you in this case. Do not go for the bunion splint because a gel is designed to be worn with the footwear.
By the way, you might have heard that bunion correctors do not work and they are all but just myths and hypes. The truth is that these sleeves are not exactly ‘correctors’ as their name suggests. They are meant to prevent the bunion from getting worse. They won’t miraculously treat the bunions.
Suppose you have a worsened bunion and you want to treat it completely, the only sure way is to go for surgery. Too many times, surgery will be the last resort for people that have severe deformity and unbearable pain. Sadly, the bunion is not always guaranteed to be gone completely after surgery.
But if you treat the bunion before it gets to the worse stage, there are high chances that you will not have to go for surgery. Ideally, it is wise to treat your bunion when it is still in its early stages.
A bunion corrector, in this case, is one of the best options to go for when the bunion is in its early stages. It helps to prevent the condition from worsening, which can then lead to gradual healing.
Which Bunion Corrector Will Work Best for Me?
Honestly, there is no specific bunion corrector that will work for a particular person. However, the bunion corrector you choose will depend largely on the severity of the condition. You can talk to a podiatrist to help you decide if you need a bunion corrector/separator or if you need a protector. Some bunions will need a protector while others will need a corrector. The podiatrist will study your bunion condition and advise the best remedy for it.
Keep in mind that wearing the proper footwear for a bunion and engaging in the proper bunion exercises will help to enhance the healing of the condition. Proper foot hygiene is also paramount at all times. Don’t just wait to develop a bunion so that you can start taking care of it. Prevention is better than cure, remember that.