What is alignment? What does alignment do?
Podiatrists consider the normal angle of the big toe to be between 0 and 15 degrees. It’s a problem if its greater than 15 degrees.
My big toe is 30 degrees. The first prototype I made, the one I wear daily, moves my big toe to 20 degrees, a 10 degree improvement. My design requirements for the next model, the one you’ll be able to buy, will move my big toe to 10 degrees. It will be in the normal range.
Here’s a picture…
My foot, the device, the device on my foot.
My big toe is angled leftward to a more normal angle. My second toe is now adjacent to my big toe, not on top of it. Plus, it’s hammer toe protrusion is pushed down a bit. The third toe is now adjacent to the second toe as it would normally be.
That’s what alignment is!
What does alignment do?
It changes the angles of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They now operate in their normal planes of action, not all kittywampus like they were.
It also lessens the abnormal pressure points in the ball of the foot that are caused by the misaligned angles of the toes where they join the metatarsal joints.
In the larger picture, gait is improved along with balance, and the upstream impacts to knees, hips, and low back are lessened.
Less pain and discomfort, more comfort, better gait and balance. That’s what alignment does!
I know you want me to tell you that your bunions will go away if you wear this device, but they won’t. We’re not making that promise and you should be skeptical if someone does.
There isn’t a single formal study that demonstrates that devices like this will lessen or remove the bunion itself. Though, you will hear promises. The best you can do is to wear this device for all day comfort.
You can and should do other things. Wear wider shoes, wear orthotics, and do specific toe and foot exercises (we’ll be posting them in the future).
Finally, don’t wear tight, pointy toed shoes or high heels. Right, as a man, I don’t tend to do that anyway, and I still have bunions! My grandma, who never wore pionty shoes or heels, had horrible bunions. But we’ll have a few blogs on women with bunions and how their experience differs from men’s. Twice as many women as men have bunions and it’s not just because they wear high heels. After all, many women wear heels and do not have bunions. Genetics is always a factor, but so is environment.