Products to Relieve Bunion Pain

Solutions to relieve discomfort

Bunions can cause pain and discomfort and you may want to find products that can help relieve it. A bunion is a musculoskeletal condition of the foot that causes the big toe to angle toward the second toe, resulting in a large bump at the base of the big toe. The big toe shifts out of position because of a separation that occurs between the first and second metatarsal bones (long bones of the foot). As a result, the forefoot widens, making shoes uncomfortable for some bunion sufferers. Another common complaint associated with a bunion is pain or inflammation at the big toe area where the bump lies.

While a bunion cannot be permanently corrected by over-the-counter products, there are some products that may be helpful in alleviating the pain and discomfort. You will find that some products for bunions are geared toward women—for example, bunion support socks are currently only available in women's sizes. This is because bunions predominantly affect women, although men and children can suffer from bunions too.


Bunion Aid Splint

Person getting a foot massage
Credit: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This product is a type of splint, which is designed for holding the big toe in a straighter position. It can be worn while walking or while at rest or sleeping. However, some people may find it uncomfortable to wear while walking. If worn regularly, this device and other bunion splints may help resist some of the soft tissue contractures that occurs with a bunion. For some, this may be beneficial in alleviating the pain and inflammation that occurs in response to this soft tissue stress.  


Bunion Night Splint

Bunion Night Splint (pair)

Bunion night splints are designed to be worn while you are off your feet and cannot be worn while walking. A night splint aligns the big toe, pulling it back into its proper position while the wearer is resting or sleeping. As with the bunion aid splint, night splints can help resist soft tissue stress, possibly decreasing symptoms of pain and inflammation. But they do not offer permanent bunion correction.


Bunion Sleeve

Bunion Sleeve

A bunion sleeve is helpful for protecting the bunion's prominent bump from shoe friction. It fits over the foot like a sock has a protective gel layer that cushions the bunion. It does not splint the toe as a bunion splint does, but it has the advantage of being less bulky. A bunion sleeve may be helpful for anyone experiencing bunion pain or skin irritation due to rubbing against the shoe. Some bunion sleeves come in different sizes to ensure a comfortable fit.


Gel Toe Spreader

Gel Toe Spreader With Loop

Gel toe spreaders (also known as spacers or separators) are used for separating the big toe from the second toe. With a bunion, the big toe angles toward the second toe and may even press against it, creating new problems such as a corn. Gel toe spreaders will also help realign the big toe, resisting some of the soft tissue stress associated with a bunion. Some gel toe spreaders have a loop that attaches to the second toe to help keep the spreader from slipping. There are also brands of toe spreaders that do not have this loop.


Bunion Support Socks

Bunion Support Socks

The combination of features listed for these bunion support socks includes a toe separator for the big toe and a bunion cushion on the outside of the big toe. They also have arch support built in to keep the sock in place and seamless construction to reduce irritation.


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Article Sources
  • Bunions. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.