Most people understand that stretching before strenuous exercise, like running or playing sports, is important for injury prevention. However, did you know that stretching your feet and toes can help relieve painful bunion symptoms too? It’s true. It can even strengthen your muscles and joints, helping you to prevent the condition from progressing.
Below, we’ve provided some of our top stretches for bunion pain. So get out there and flex!
Lift your toes. With your feet flat on the floor, raise only your toes as high as you can. Once you can do that, stretch your big toe forward and back to the floor but leave the other four digits raised. This is a great way to directly target the joint that your bunion pushes out of alignment.
Toe stretches. Point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds, then curl them for 5 seconds. Do 10 sets.
Toe flexes. You can use a wall to help you with this one. Push your digits against a vertical surface and hold the stretch for about 10 seconds. After 3 or 4 sets, switch directions and point your toes downward.
Pick things up with your toes. Scrunch your toes to snag a napkin or pencil, or try picking up marbles and dropping them into a cup. This strengthens your joints and flexes your tibialis anterior muscle. You can also try gripping a towel with your feet and pulling it toward you, which helps with flexibility.
Resistance training. Grab a towel or belt and wrap it around your big toe. While you push your digit forward, pull against it with the towel.
Massage your feet. This is a great way to release some of the tightness and tension that builds up in your adductor muscles and contributes to cramping and bunion formation. Start at the base of your toes and move downward, toward the inner arch. If you can’t or don’t want to use your hands, rolling a golf ball underfoot is a great technique to try.
For more handy tips about managing your bunion pain, check out our free online patient education library. If you have any concerns about caring for your feet or ankles, give us a call, request an appointment online, or drop by one of our six convenient Greater Cincinnati locations. Dial (513) 728-4800 for our Ohio-based offices, or (859) 282-1572 for Kentucky.