Correct Toes was recently involved in its second published study. Researchers from Southeastern Louisiana University set out to measure the effects Correct Toes have on big toe strength, big toe deviation angle, foot pain, and foot pressure distribution. Here’s the link to this study from March 2022, to be published in Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual: Female Athletes’ Foot Changes from Wearing a Foot Orthosis: A Study of Hallux Deviation, Strength, Foot Pressure, and Pain
In this study, 23 female athletes (9 dancers + 14 soccer players) whose sports are associated with restrictive footwear and repetitive foot stress wore Correct Toes every evening for four weeks. Measurements were collected at five time-points: baseline, at the end of weeks 1, 2, & 4 of wearing Correct Toes, and again for final measurements 1 week after discontinued use.
Big Toe Angle Reduction
When it comes to big toe angle, the data revealed that while some individuals had more noticeable changes than others, ultimately the changes observed across the entire cohort as a whole were not deemed to be statistically significant. Upon further investigation, only 5 out of the available 46 feet had what would be described as having a mild (15°-20°) or moderate (20°-40°) bunion. The big toe angle analysis of these 5 feet with bunions (1 moderate + 4 mild) did show significant improvement of almost 5° big toe angle reduction (4 mild bunions alone showed a 2.7° big toe angle reduction).
Foot Pain Reduction
A 0-10 scale was used to assess foot pain during the Correct Toes 4-week intervention. Ratings of foot pain at baseline ranged from 0-7 and averaged 2.2. Research showed pain actually increased for the first week, but then pain ratings decreased every week following with the lowest pain ratings observed at week 5 (1 week after discontinued use), down to an average of 1.4 — small but significant. Participants with the greatest reduction in big toe angle also reported the biggest reduction in pain.
Big Toe Strength Increase
With the participant standing, big toe strength was measured using a foot pressure pad. After 4 weeks of wearing Correct Toes every evening, average big toe strength doubled (Left big toe from 0.05 Kpa to 0.1 Kpa; Right big toe from 0.05 Kpa to 0.9 Kpa).
Foot Pressure Distribution
Foot pressure distribution during dynamic balance was also determined by using a foot pressure pad. Participants performed a single leg squat (20° of knee flexion) while foot pressure was mapped and distributed into quadrants. Following the 4-week Correct Toes intervention, foot pressure had increased on the forefoot and decreased on the rearfoot (heel). Participants who had greater increases in big toe strength also tended to have greater shifts in foot pressure from the back to the front of the foot. The researchers postulate that the redistributed foot pressure towards the front of the foot could be due to increased big toe strength and reduced foot pain.
- This study is obviously limited by its small size, but the results are promising and certainly back up our clinical experience with Correct Toes.
- In this study, Correct Toes were only worn during evenings and at night and worn passively or during activities of daily life. This is a fine way to utilize Correct Toes, but we feel more impact and benefit can come from Correct Toes if worn while active and exercising.
- A previously published study involving Correct Toes found that a 4-week intervention significantly improved dynamic balance and young, healthy adults.
Written by: Dr. Andrew Wojciechowski, ND
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