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Many people have problems with their feet in the course of their lives and know this problem all too well. People visit an orthopaedist to have the pain at the ball of the toe clarified and often receive the diagnosis hallux valgus out of nowhere.
A visible bump forms on the side of the ball of the foot, giving the deformity the colloquial name "bunion". Depending on the severity of the hallux valgus, wearing tight, narrow or closed shoes can be painful or even unbearable for those affected.
This widespread disease, which can be traced back to weakness of the connective tissue but also to poor footwear because it is too tight, has different stages.
Doctors distinguish between four stages of hallux valgus depending on the severity:
The big toe is hardly visibly bent, but sufferers may already feel pain at the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. Sometimes the skin on the ball of the foot is irritated.
The metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe is inflamed, the skin on the side is reddened. The ligaments are now overstretched so that the big toe visibly deviates outwards. At this stage, the affected person complains of hallux valgus pain for the first time.
The big toe has deviated so far from its straight position that it pushes over or under or over the neighbouring toes. A bump has formed on the inside of the foot at the metatarsophalangeal joint, which sometimes looks as if new bone has grown. The bump is extremely painful for the affected person.
The big toe forms an angle of 90 degrees at the base joint. Aids such as orthoses or bandages no longer help here. The deformity must be corrected by surgery.
Of course, no one likes to be operated on. The desire for hallux treatment without surgery is therefore understandable. Here you can find out how hallux valgus can be treated without surgery and what results you can expect.
Hallux valgus can be treated without surgery in many cases. If the treatment with a splint is complemented by foot exercises and a change in habits, the treatment without surgery is successful in most cases. Discover here what it takes to treat hallux valgus without surgery.
Hallux valgus splints or bandages?
With hallux valgus, the big toe is bent. It points outwards towards the other toes. Various supports and splints are available to straighten the toe. Discover a small selection here.
The Hallufix® hallux valgus splint returns the foot to its natural shape. By wearing it regularly, the malposition of the joint is corrected. The natural rolling movement can be performed again without pain.
Of course, the splint can also be worn as a classic night splint.
As the foot is relieved during the night, the toe can be stretched excellently. Hallufix® Hallux valgus night splints are also used after hallux operations to stabilise the toe until healing is complete.
Hallufix® Hallux valgus supports are a sensible investment, similar to the splint, and help to relieve pressure on the foot and correct hallux valgus, as they keep the big toe in its natural position and relieve pressure on the ball of the foot. The progression of the disease is temporarily slowed down or stopped. The Hallufix Taping Loops are excellently suited for this use. The stable and soft loop is placed around the big toe and the heel. The therapy effect begins from the first time the loop is worn. Particularly practical, the loop can of course be worn under the sock in any shoe and is virtually invisible.
Patients are often advised to tape the hallux valgus with appropriate tapes. The effect of these can be compared to the Hallufix® Taping Loop. However, the main disadvantage is the time-consuming application process and the rapid wear and tear of such aids.
Toe spreader for Hallux valgus complaints
Another aid after splinting and bandaging can be so-called toe spreaders. These are usually small wedges made of soft silicone that are pushed between the big toe and the other toes to prevent skin irritation or pressure points. Get to know the Hallufix® Softies for this purpose. In addition to the Softies toe spreader, which separates tightly fitting and displaced toes, there is also the Softies Bunion Protector Plus, which optimally protects sensitive bunions
from friction in the shoe. Last but not least, there is the hammer toe pad, which relieves and protects the tips of the toes of hammer and claw toes.
Wide, flat shoes - do without pumps & co.
The right footwear is the be-all and end-all of hallux treatment. This also applies if you decide against conservative therapy and opt for surgery. Tight shoes with heels can play a significant role in the development of hallux valgus. If the big toe is bent in the shoes for hours every day, the capsule-ligament apparatus on the outside of the toe will shorten at some point - hallux valgus develops. So stretching the toe with a bandage every day makes little sense if you lock your feet back into high heels the next morning. Whenever possible, look for flat shoes with a wide toe box in everyday life.
Hallux valgus shoes by Hallufix®
The company Hallufix has now launched the first shoe that treats hallux valgus when worn. These are sandals and mules that have a worldwide unique feature. With the help of a turning knob, the patented big toe strap can be individually adjusted and, similar to braces, gradually brings the toe bone back into the walking direction, i.e. into its natural position. Hallufix currently offers 10 different models of this special shoe in a wide variety of colours and designs.
Furthermore, the Hallufix sandals have a particularly soft footbed and a safe anti-slip sole, so that the shoe can also be worn comfortably outdoors as a running shoe.
Other causes - It's not always shoes that are too tight.
As just mentioned, shoes that are too tight and pointed can be a trigger for hallux valgus. However, this is by no means the only cause that causes the big toe to deviate outwards. Doctors assume the following reasons:
- other foot malpositions that favour deviation (e.g. a splay foot or a bent foot)
- a hereditary predisposition and thus weak connective tissue
- muscular deficits
- an accident (e.g. with a capsule tear in the metatarsophalangeal joint)
- rheumatic diseases
- a congenital malposition
- a poorly healed bone fracture
- arthrosis (hallux rigidus)
- overweight or obesity
Whatever the underlying cause, the consequences are always the same: the big toe deviates in the base joint towards the other toes on the outside of the foot.
Gymnastics and exercises for hallux valgus
A very simple exercise you can do on your own with a small rubber ball or a studded hedgehog ball. Sit on a chair and move the ball back and forth under the sole of your foot - either in a back and forth movement from heel to forefoot or in circles. You can vary the pressure you exert on the ball with your foot. The exercise should feel comfortable and not cause pain. Manual stretching of the feet can have a positive effect and counteract hallux valgus.
More strength for the transverse and longitudinal arch of the foot through the "ball" exercise".
A football or handball is ideal. The exercise is particularly suitable for hallux valgus.
This is how the exercise works. Hold a ball with the balls of your feet. Lift the ball for a few seconds. Recommended repetitions approx. 10-15 times. With this exercise you effectively strengthen the transverse and longitudinal arch of the foot.
In the case of a bunion (hallux valgus), the foot is deformed: the big toe shifts inwards and the ball of the foot protrudes. This can, but does not necessarily, lead to discomfort. Possible causes are predisposition, weak connective tissue and shoes that are too tight. You can find more reasons in our specialist articles in the advice concept on the Hallufix® website at www.hallufix.de.
Will the hallux valgus deformity come back?
After surgery, a hallux valgus can form again. To prevent this, it is recommended to wear orthotics or bandages. The Hallufix® Hallux valgus splint, which can also be worn during the day thanks to the movable hinge, is particularly suitable for this. As bandages, we recommend the Hallufix® Taping Loops, the loop is placed around the big toe and heel.
Where does pain arise from hallux valgus?
If the big toe shifts towards the middle toes and at the same time a bulge forms on the inside of the foot, a hallux valgus begins. Calluses can also occur here, as well as bursitis. The bunion may be reddened and swell, and the big toe hurts when touched.
What treatment options are there for hallux valgus?
The Hallufix® splint is very suitable for malpositions between 20 and 30 degrees, i.e. occasional hallux valgus pain. The splint can also be used postoperatively to maintain the success of the operation. However, if the angle of the deformity increases even further, usually to 40 to 50 degrees, only a surgical intervention can make sense.
What causes hallux valgus?
Usually several triggers come together. If you have a genetic predisposition to it, if you tend to have flabby connective tissue and then wear the wrong shoes, the big toe can become deformed. "All factors that weaken the connective tissue - for example pregnancy, certain medications or diseases - favour hallux valgus." But injuries to the ball of the foot or arthritis can also be triggers for this.
Who is affected by hallux valgus?
Hallux valgus is usually a disease that affects women. In numbers, this means almost 10 times more women than men.
Information on the topic of hallux valgus at:
You can find more comprehensive information on the topic of hallux valgus in the advice concept on the Hallufix® website at www.hallufix.de.
Find out more about hallux valgus pain, the various treatment options and Hallufix shoes and supports in specialist articles.
You can also find numerous medical studies on the topic of hallux valgus here.