The 10 Best Bunion Treatments

Updated January 13, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Bunion Treatments
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. We know that bony bump at the base of your big toe can be quite painful, so take a look at our selection of splints and bunion treatments. They will, at the very least, provide you with some much needed pain relief, and could even help you avoid an expensive surgery down the line. We've included a variety of styles to meet a wide range of needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bunion treatment on Amazon.

10. Ozeen Toe Sleeves

Ozeen Toe Sleeves come in a pack of four and are made of a flexible silicone material. They offer a soothing, practical solution to the pain caused by hallux deformities, crossed toes, and more by helping to stimulate blood flow and reduce stiffness.
  • two large and two small caps
  • great for callused feet
  • not as corrective as some treatments
Model pending
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. ComfyWomfy Corrector

The ComfyWomfy Corrector provides joint pain relief and a gentle, comfortable correction of your big toe's alignment, making it a viable alternative to surgery if you're willing to wear the it regularly. The set includes one for each of your feet.
  • adjustable for the perfect fit
  • can be worn day or night
  • materials aren't the highest quality
Brand ComfyWomfy
Model pending
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Dr. Frederick's Original Splints

Dr. Frederick's Original Splints offer superlative relief and a good fit for everyday, and even nighttime, use, with an easily adjustable toe stabilizer bar and an ergonomic wrap design that's comfortable enough to wear while you sleep.
  • fabric is soft and breathable
  • machine washable for easy cleaning
  • velcro wears out over time
Brand Dr. Frederick's Origina
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. LifeLux Pain Relief Pack

The versatile LifeLux Pain Relief Pack provides all-day comfort whether you're walking, running, or working out, with four different pairs of spreaders, straighteners, pads, and sleeves that mold to your skin for protection against shocks and pressure.
  • nighttime splint stretches tendons
  • good value for an 8-piece set
  • plastic components are brittle
Brand LifeLux
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Envelop Guard

Give your toes some quick relief from pain using the premium Envelop Guard, designed to serve as both a cushion and a separator, and to fit comfortably into most shoes. This pleasantly low-priced option comes as a two-pack, one for each foot.
  • provide nearly instant relief
  • reduce pressure and friction
  • fit best in wide-toed shoes
Brand Envelop
Model pending
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Esarora Kit

If you're unsure of which of the many available home remedies to try, consider the inexpensive Esarora Kit, which includes five treatment options. It comes with four different pairs of separators and a stretching strap, so you can find what works best for you.
  • helps with stride correction
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
  • some components feel flimsy
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Dr. JK Relief and Cushion Kit

Avoid surgery by using the Dr. JK Relief and Cushion Kit, which includes five different pairs of medical grade pads and separators that protect and assuage pain while straightening your crooked phalanges. The range of tools helps ensure complete relief.
  • made of medical-grade gel
  • sleeve supports ball of foot
  • easy to clean with soap and water
Brand DR JK
Model JKDP69
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Alayna Toe Straightener

Invented by Joseph Pilates, founder of the eponymous fitness system, the Alayna Toe Straightener helps cure maladies caused by weak hip extensors. It improves the alignment of all parts of the foot and leg, from the big toe up to the pelvis.
  • helps prevent recurrences
  • encourages proper posture
  • strengthens muscles as it heals
Brand Alayna Toe Straightener
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. ZenToes Pack of 4

The ZenToes Pack of 4 is a set of corrector-separators that can be used on either foot to push your big toe back towards alignment. Their easy-to-use design slips onto your second toe to provide relief. With socks and shoes on, you can barely detect them.
  • choice of beige or white
  • material is latex-free
  • work on other toes as well
Brand ZenToes
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

1. Roocke Brace

The Roocke Brace is engineered to offer both hallux valgus correction and a reduction of its associated pain in the process. Its flexible construction allows for a full range of motion, and it is comfortable enough to walk on or sleep in.
  • adjusts to fit on either foot
  • fabric is soft and cushioning
  • comes in a resealable pouch
Model pending
Weight 2.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What Exactly Are Bunions?

Bunions are bony bumps that form at the base joint of the hallux, commonly referred to as the big toe. It is a deformity of the joint which connects the big toe to the foot. They are usually formed when the big toe pushes in against the toe next to it. This causes the joint to push out abnormally and causes a lateral deviation of the big toe. The deformity is called a hallux valgus and will have a noticeable sideways angle.

Many people incorrectly refer to a bunion as an enlargement of the bone due to the large bump which develops. The bump is actually created by two things, neither of which is an enlargement of the bone. Part of the bump is due to the bursa sac becoming swollen. The bursa sac is a small, viscous fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles. When inflamed it becomes swollen just like any other part of the body. The rest, and larger part, of the bump is the head of the first metatarsal bone sticking out because of the sideways angle. This bone does not grow or become larger, it is just no longer perfectly aligned with the foot, which is why it juts out.

It is not uncommon to also develop smaller bunions, known as bunionettes, on the little toes as they are pushed out of place by the big toe. Bunions often develop a thickening of the skin over the bump which may become swollen, inflamed and painful. Studies have shown that bunions may be up to 10 times more common in women than men.

Symptoms of a bunion include a bulging bump at the outside base of the big toe, pain and soreness localized around the joint of the big toe, thickening skin around the bump, and calluses where the big toe and second toe overlap when walking. This symptoms may or may not be accompanied with restricted movement of the big toe and a deformity of the second toe.

The majority of bunions can be treated at home with no medical intervention, but there are times when a orthopedic foot specialist should be consulted. If one is experiencing persistent pain that is making walking difficult, limited movement of the big toe, or difficulty finding shoes that fit because of the width of your foot after the formation of a bunion, medical intervention might be necessary.

Common Causes Of Bunions

Bunions develop because the pressure of a person's body weight falls unevenly on the joints of the foot. This uneven pressure can make the big toe joint unstable, and over time cause it to jut out at an unusual angle.

There is much debate in the medical community over the underlying cause of bunions. Some professionals feel that it can be caused by wearing certain types of footwear. Among those who believe that bunions are caused by footwear, there is debate about the types of footwear which are responsible. Some feel that they are caused by high-heeled shoes, while other feel that too narrow shoes are to blame, and a third group believes that any kind of shoe that is too tight may be the root cause.

The experts that believe the problem is genetic in pathophysiology do admit that certain types of shoes can exacerbate the problem, though would not cause them on their own without some underlying genetic predisposition. Some genetic conditions that are believed to be root causes of bunions include unusual positioning of certain supportive structures of the first metatarsal, overly flexible ligaments, abnormal bone structure, flat feet, and just a general weakness of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are also sometimes connected to the development of bunions.

How Bunions Are Treated

Depending on the severity of the bunion, it may be treated with surgery, homeopathic remedies, orthotics, or simply changing footwear. The majority of conservative bunion treatments treat the symptoms, but don't correct the underlying deformity, which means it can flare up and cause problems at any time later in life. So, while changing footwear is a good way to relieve the pain associated with a bunion, it won't help fix the actual problem and you may find yourself in pain when wearing high heels or dress shoes.

For those who prefer non-surgical approaches, orthotic splints can be a good solution. They are non-invasive, can be used in the comfort of one's own home, and show a high success rate for bunions. For those with a very moderate bunion problem, gelled toe spacers and bunion cushions may be all that is needed. For those with more severe bunions, a toe splint, bunion regulator, or toe corrector will most likely be needed. Some are designed to be used barefoot, while others are small enough to fit into a shoe for all day wear. Bunion orthotics can be medically prescribed or purchased over-the-counter depending on the model and the style.

There are a variety of bunion surgeries, each designed to correct a specific pathology. A surgery may be performed to shave off the protruding bony enlargement of the first metatarsal, re-position the sesamoid bones, realign the first and adjacent metatarsal bone, realign cartilagenous surfaces, and more. Your heath care provider can provide more information on the best surgical approach if one is required.

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Last updated on January 13, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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