Your foot deforms more and more, leading to a redness or a bunion on its inner side? Finding an appropriate footwear becomes complicated? Here are some tips to help you choose the right brace and to protect your toes from hallux valgus .
Brace for hallux valgus : what objectives?
A brace (also called a bunion corrector) can have three purposes to relieve the hallux valgus : prevent, protect or correct.
For the first and second objectives, the brace aims to protect your foot from frictions against the shoe and to prevent the development of a bunion. A thin brace is preferable so that it does not create additional thickness in the shoe. This could increase the pressure on the foot and be counterproductive. Its role is specially to distribute pressures in order to avoid redness and irritations.
Some brace designs such as the bunion protector* by EPITACT® are intended to a daily use.
For the third objective, it will depend on the severity of the condition. Indeed, there are no existing orthotics or prosthetics, hallux valgus corrector or other medical devices capable of realigning the toe durably in case of severe hallux valgus . The two deviations of the bone are irreversible when the condition is very advanced, especially if the big toe does not move laterally anymore. For severe hallux valgus , the deviation of the toe cannot be corrected without surgery.
The braces offered by EPITACT® are designed for a dynamic correction (i.e. during the movements) of a light hallux valgus , or at least to delay its progression.
Choosing a brace for hallux valgus adapted to your activities
The choice of your brace will be different according the intensity of your activities, the model of shoe and the time of day.
The flexible bunion corrector for day use* by EPITACT® can be put on like a sock and is designed to stop the progressive deviation of the big toe while moving or in the shoes. The integrated silicone tendon serves to realign the toe. However, hallux valgus if a deformation that cannot disappear over time. The silicone gel pad is placed between the shoe and the foot in order to reduce rubbing and relieve pain. To limit pressures on the forefoot, a restraining strap pushes the first metatarsal, limiting in the same time the double deviation of the hallux . Particularly thin, soft and light, this bunion support is very discreet and can be worn in all types of shoes. This brace is only adapted to feet with a big toe still moving laterally.
If you practice a regular physical activity, the flexible bunion brace for sport* will optimise the propulsion by providing full support while realigning the big toe. The condition is the same as below, that is to say the mobility of the big toe.
For rest periods without footwear (night, nap...), a corrective brace for night can relieve your pain. Although the brace partially immobilises the joint , it should not become heavy or bulky. Some of these braces are thermoformable so that the correction degree progressively evolves while the toe realigns. It is for example the case of the rigid bunion corrector for night use* by EPITACT®: this bunion support can be moulded several times to the desired angle to correct the deviation and slowly realign the toe.
Finally, if your toe is 'stiff, ankylosed', that is to say it does not move laterally, a bunion protector* will be more adapted.
Which size for a hallux valgus brace ?
If you don’t know your foot circumference, take a flexible tape measure and wrap your foot where the joint of your big toe begins. If your measure is between two sizes proposed by the brace manufacturer, always prefer the size below to have a well-adjusted brace . If the size is too large, folds could form and cause irritations. A too large brace won’t play its role and won’t realign your toe.
Refer to the instruction related to the product to make sure you’re making the good choice.
Receiving advice to choose a brace
Your general practitioner can help you choose the proper brace to relieve your pain. A podiatrist or orthopaedist can also advise you to find the more adapted brace : nothing can replace the opinion of a health professional!
Finally, your pharmacist could assist you in choosing the size or design the most appropriate for you.
Both returns and delivery are free: if the size or design does not correspond to you, exchanges are facilitated.
*These products are class I medical devices that bear the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 07/2021