Quick and Easy Foot Exercises for Bunions
A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe and it is a frequent cause of foot pain. The tissues around the joint cause the big toe to rotate toward the smaller toes and result in pain, redness, or swelling. Bunions may arise from a number of factors such as inherited foot type, flat feet, or excessive pronation. Rheumatoid arthritis (gout), tightly worn shoes, or foot injuries can further exacerbate symptoms. Weak muscles in the foot and calf may also contribute to bunion-related pain and movement issues. Strengthening these muscles with the exercises below can help stabilize body movement and support the arch of the foot from rolling inwards. Additionally, wearing proper shoes, cushioning pads, orthotics, and avoiding activities that add pressure to the bunion can help provide relief for the foot.
Perform the following exercises barefoot. Begin exercises from a sitting position to a standing position on two legs, then using one leg and alternate. Hold each repetition for 5 seconds. Repeat exercises until muscles become tired.
A) Toe Lift: plant your heel and front of the foot on the ground, then lift all the toes upwards
B) Toe Spread: plant your heel and front of the foot on the ground, then lift and spread the toes. Try to push the little toe downwards when spreading the toes.
C) Heel Raises: stand with your knees bent, then raise your heel off the ground while keeping pressure on the big toe.
Check out the following video on a single-leg balancing exercise to strengthen the lower body:
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2016;46(7):606. doi:10.2519/jospt.2016.0504