Un hack facile pour réparer la douleur au pied | Confort Orthopédiques

An easy hack to fix foot pain

So many people suffer from foot pain! I was one of them – I had plantar fasciitis, numbness in my toes, several times and for three years I also had this weird problem that felt like constant pain in the middle of my foot. It's all gone now, I'm happy to report! But I totally get it – foot pain sucks. And that's why fixing foot pain is one of my passions as a movement coach.

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite ways to help relieve foot pain - without taking any extra time out of your day!

Why is foot pain so common? For many reasons, but the biggest problem is our choice of shoes. Our shoes are not foot-shaped. They crush our toes. They prevent the muscles in our feet from working. And shoes with any type of raised heel also contribute to a whole bunch of other issues, like lower back pain and pelvic floor disorders.

Because our shoes are the cause of so many foot problems, I'm a big fan of going barefoot and using minimal shoes. But because our feet have adapted to years of wearing shoes, it's usually not a good idea to switch to minimal shoes overnight. If you go too fast, you may actually trigger more foot pain instead of less.

Instead, it's best to take the time to slowly and carefully adjust to wearing fewer shoes. Spending more time barefoot, exercising your feet and lower legs, and learning about whole-body alignment will help you safely transition to minimal footwear .

But one hack I love that doesn't take any extra time out of your day is using toe spreaders.

What are toe spreaders?

Exactly what they look like! It's a tool you wear between your toes to help create space. This helps you get back to the natural shape your feet should have had all along.

Why would you want to have a natural foot shape?

You were born to have the widest feet at the ends of your toes, not the balls of your feet.

But, your toes (and everyone else's too) have been crushed for years and years by tight shoes. Even if you didn't think they were tight when you wore them, almost all shoes sold these days aren't actually shaped correctly for the human foot.

Isn’t that a crazy fact? How is it that humans, making shoes for other humans, collectively decided to make shoes that ARE NOT IN HUMAN SHAPE??!?!

The result of shoes without a foot shape is years of crushing. This means that the bones in our feet end up living too close together. This may decrease your traffic and irritate the tissues of the feet, contributing to plantar fasciitis , neuromas and other foot problems.

To cure these problems, or to avoid them in the first place, it is important that your feet return to their natural shape.

And that’s where toe spacers come in!

Comfort+ Toe Separator

Benefits of toe spreaders

Toe spacers aren't the whole story for foot health, but they can be a very useful tool. Here's what they can help you do:

1. Realign the bones in your feet. By gently spreading your toes, the toe spacers will actually realign your toe bones when worn over a long period of time. Just like narrow shoes crush your bones semi-permanently, toe spreaders crush your bones.

2. Increase circulation in your feet. Giving your toes more room also gives your blood more room to move! Regular delivery of fresh oxygen to all your cells helps keep you healthy right down to your DNA. 

3. Strengthen and mobilize the muscles in your feet. In addition to being crushed, our feet are usually very stiff and very weak. Wearing spacers while you walk and move will help naturally strengthen and engage all those neglected foot muscles.

4. Improve your balance. Now that your feet are stronger and more mobile, your balance ability may also improve.

5. Feel less sore feet. Many people find that simply wearing toe spacers can reduce foot pain. And personally, I love how they feel all alone!

How to use toe spacers

The most important rule when starting to use toe spreaders is to go small and slow. After years and years in shoes, starting to spread your toes can feel very intense!

My boyfriend Chris just got his first pair of toe spacers (yay!). The first day he wore them for 5 minutes and felt great. So the next day he jumped at 20 minutes and his feet killed him for two whole days afterwards. What seems like a small boost to our brains can be really big to our bodies.

The general rule of thumb for fitness adaptation is to increase your workouts by no more than 10% per week. This would be a good starting point for determining how much time you should spend in your new toe spacers. Your first day, wear them for a few minutes and see how you feel the next day. Adjust up or down a little depending on what you notice, but no more than about 10% (definitely not 300%), and see how you feel again the next day. If this triggers soreness, stop for a bit until your feet feel good, then reintroduce them more slowly.

Over time, you will adapt and be able to wear your spreaders for extended periods of time - I can wear mine all day and night now, literally.

You can also try starting with this gentle foot exercise, it's one of my favorites. This is called “shaking hands with feet.”

Comfort+ Toe Separator

Which Toe Spreaders Should You Buy?

I wish I could tell you that there is a perfect type of toe spreader. But the truth is that the different types all have different pros and cons. One of the reasons I love my job is that it gives me an excuse to own all kinds of movement tools! I use three different types of toe spacers regularly, depending on what I'm doing. Here are my favorites and the ways I like to use them.

Comfort+ Toe Separator

When to use: Wear them all night – 8 full hours of foot health!
Ideal for people who: have to wear a lot of shoes during the day and don't own minimal shoes.

My Comfort+ Toe Separators were my very first toe spacers, and I still use them almost every day. Every night, in fact – I like to put them on when I go to bed and let them work their magic all night.

These types are not designed to be worn while you are standing – instead they are suitable for when you are resting and your feet are not supporting your weight. You can start by wearing them when reading, watching TV, or relaxing, and gradually increase the time until you're ready to try them on all night. It's a big jump, and you might end up waking up in the night to take them off. That's what happened to me, anyway, but these days I can wear them all night 95% of the time.

Interestingly, one of my feet adapted much faster. And the one that still has the most cramps is also the one where I have the most problems. The bodies are so fascinating!

I love the Comfort+ Toe Separators because they allow me to work on the health of my feet while I sleep! They don't fall out between my toes, so I can wear them all year round. And they're both affordable and durable – mine are over 3 years old now and still going strong. It probably helps that I don't walk in them, but it's still great that they last so well. They are a great starter toe spreader and one that I always enjoy using. Also good for plane flights!

Bunion Corrector Splint

When to use them: at home, take yoga classes, take photos for Instagram Best for people who: spend a lot of time barefoot

I first saw Bunion Corrector Splints in a yoga class. I thought they looked weird and ignored them.

A few years later, I started learning more about the movement and realized I totally needed a pair. At that point, I already had my Comfort+ Toe Separators . The next day I went back and purchased the Bunion Corrector Splint , and I haven't looked back since. Now I can wear splints comfortably, so luckily my investment was not wasted.

I like the feel of these things – kind of like gummy bears for toes. And they look really interesting too, thanks to their strange but attractive blue color. This makes them good for Instagram photos! After a few minutes of wearing, you can really feel the circulation in your toes. It's one of my favorite sensations and I crave it if I can't get enough of it.

Who Should Not Use Toe Spacers

If you have diabetes, circulation or sensation problems in your feet, or extremely painful feet, I would not recommend toe spreaders. If you are unsure, please consult a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about movement and musculoskeletal health!

What's next after toe spreaders?

Although toe spacers are a great "trick" to help your feet feel better, they are not the end of the story.

Toe spreaders are a good tool, but they work passively. This means they put your body into a new shape, which creates some adaptation, but your body doesn't have to work to be there. This means you don't get as many healthy changes as you would if you strengthened your feet with active movement. This is one of the reasons why CorrectToes are the most effective toe spacers. You wear them while you're active, which means they help you build more muscle than if you only wore spreaders while you sleep.

For truly robust and amazing foot health, I recommend actively working on your foot strength and mobility and gradually transitioning to more minimal shoes. It may take some time, but there are many rewards for improving the function of your feet! You will get what you pay for. To give you a head start on the path to healthy feet, here are our most comfortable and stylish products on the market

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