You know exercise is good for you, and there’s no shortage of gyms around to go get it—say, the Palm Desert Community Center, or Action Potential in Rancho Mirage—but did you know that even your bunions can benefit from stretches and exercise? It’s true.
Although no exercise will “cure” your bunion—only surgery can remove the bump—the right physical therapy routine can help you manage your pain, strengthen supporting muscles and tendons, and help slow or even stop the rate of progression. A few favorites are below:
Something as simple as a nice foot rub can bring about pain relief, relaxing tightened muscles and preventing cramps, and it’s a great way to start your foot exercises. Using your thumbs, start at the base of your big toe, working toward the middle of the foot and the inner arch, before going back up the sides. Alternatively, you can use a golf ball or other small, round object and roll it underfoot for a few minutes to get a similar effect.
Keeping your toes limber and strong is a great way to gently encourage them not to drift any further inward! A number of specific stretches can be beneficial here, including ones as simple as alternating between lifting your toes as high as they can go, then curling them underfoot. For more robust flexing, try pressing your toes against a surface such as a wall.
Resistance Band Exercise
A variation on the above stretches, sit flat on the floor and wrap a hand towel, belt, or resistance band around your big toe. Next, pull gently on the ends of the band while pushing forward with your toe.
Keep your toes strong with a seated gripping exercise. Towel curls are probably the easiest—place a small towel on the floor in front of your feet, grasp it with your toes, and pull it toward you. For more challenge, place marbles on the floor and practice picking them up and depositing them into a cup.
If painful bunions are keeping you from enjoying life, see Coachella Valley’s Harvey Danciger, DPM for expert care. We feature a full range of treatment options, from simple shoe modifications or exercises to advanced, modern techniques such as laser therapy and surgery, and we’ll help you find the best answer for your painful symptoms. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 760-568-0108.