The Common Pedicure Item That Could Be Game Changing For Your Balance

We owe our toes a lot of thanks. Made up of tendons, nerves, soft tissue, and more, our toes play a major role in supporting our body weight, maintaining posture, and propelling us forward as we move, reports Gotham Footcare. With 14 toe bones found in each one of our feet, the big toe, in particular, is pivotal for shock absorption (via Kinetic Health). But the benefits don't stop there, our toes are also instrumental to our balance (per Gotham Footcare).

Despite all that our toes do for us, however, physiotherapist Aaron Horschig tells Glamour that most of us aren't returning the favor. "The vast majority of people are wearing shoes that are way too narrow for them, and the toes just get smashed together," Horschig tells the publication. Yet experts at Transform Rehabilitation say this isn't entirely our fault. Rather, the majority of modern shoewear doesn't come equipped with a wide enough toe box — the portion of the shoe that encases the toes. As a result, pain, tenderness, bunions, and issues with function and alignment can set in over time.

However, Horschig tells Glamour there's one foot care item that may help combat balance issues related to our toes, and you probably used it the last time you got a pedicure.

How to use toe spacers

Remember those colorful chunks of foam you donned between your toes during your last pedicure? Those are toe spacers, and it appears they may do more than just prevent polish smears as your nails dry. "Due to modern footwear, many people have toes which are so stiff they are completely frozen together, overlapping and misshapen," Horschig tells Glamour. "I wear toe spacers to allow my toes to spread back out into the shape they should be in."

Rather than foam, however, toe spacers for foot care purposes are made of either gel or silicon, explains Transform Rehabilitation. In addition to separating our digits, toe spacers also alleviate pressure and realign the toes into their proper positioning. Not only does this aid in arch support, pain reduction, increased blood flow, and more, but toe spacers can also improve our stability when it comes to weight distribution, thereby boosting our balance.

Experts at Transform Rehabilitation acknowledge that toe spacers can be a little awkward when first getting used to them. Therefore, they recommend starting out by wearing them in short spurts. After some time, you can move on to wearing them while you snooze or slipping them into your favorite shoes.