Simple exercises for bunions

With these easy exercises I try to keep my toes flexible

Keeping your toes as flexible as possible is always a good idea I guess. Especially my big toes have become quite rigid over the years – I hardly seem to be able to move them sideways these days. So that's why I've included daily foot exercises in my bunion experiment.

As I'm easily bored, I selected 10 different exercises for bunions. Exercises I thought that made sense and that felt good. I'm not a professional podiatrist though, so be careful and be sure not to force your toes in any way.

I myself make it a point to practice every day for 10 - 20 minutes. But I admit: I don't do all 10 exercises every day. I just pick 3 or 4 from the list below (and make sure those aren't always the same ones).

Fortunately, these exercises for bunions don't take up a lot of time: I usually practice while watching the evening news on tv. Also, you don't have to wear any special outfit to be able to do them. Just take off your socks and shoes and go ahead!

My foot exercises for bunions

(Repeats: as often as is still comfortable for you)
  1. Hold your big toe with one hand and your foot with the other. Gently try to 'pull' your toe 'off' and hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
  2. As in the previous exercise, but after pulling your toe, twist it gently clockwise and counterclockwise.
  3. As in the first exercise, but in the end position, push your big toe upward while keeping it straight. (Don't bend it – your toe should move as a whole.) Hold for 10 seconds. Now push it downward, again without bending it. Also hold for 10 seconds.
  4. one of the simple exercises for bunions
  5. With your feet on a flat surface, loop a thick piece of elastic or rubber band around both your big toes. Gently pull your toes away from each other and hold for 5 seconds.
  6. Put the same piece of elastic or rubber band around all of your toes. Spread them and hold for 5 seconds.
  7. With your feet flat and straight out in front of you, side by side, try to move your big toes toward each other. Then bring them back. Assist this movement with your hand if necessary.
  8. With your heels on the ground, pick up a towel with your toes. Release and repeat.
  9. Sit or stand with your foot on the floor. Try lifting different objects (pieces of paper, marbles, pencils) off the floor.
  10. Sit with your feet on the floor. Shorten your feet by tightening the muscles on the sole. Keep your toes pushed straight against the floor.
  11. The last one of these exercises for bunions is a passive one. Put on a toe stretcher (like Yoga toes) or put the fingers of one hand between the toes of your feet. This makes your toes fan outward, and forces a little extra space between them. This is my favorite exercise!

Tips:

Update:

A couple of weeks after I wrote this page I found out that exercising is indeed a good way to reduce bunion pain and keep a hallux valgus deformity under control (see my blog entry of Sept 22, 2007)

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Painful, swollen, sore bunions 
Glad I've come across your site. Will start the exercise tonite. Anything to help relieve the pain. Tried spreaders during the night and agree with you. …

You helped with my decision 
I am scheduled for foot surgery, both feet, with a 3wk between each.. I have been dreading having this surgery. I have been in pain for a while now and …

Physio exercises for a hallus rigidus (quite like a bunion) 
While standing with feet facing straight ahead try raising up the two big toes off the floor but keeping the other toes on the floor. Do this ten times …

So helpful 
Thank you. My podiatrist was unable to suggest any bunion exercises and instead gave me exercises for plantar fachitis, oddly enough. He also gave me an …

Thank you so much! 
This is the first thing that really helped my pain with bunions. I've tried the gel inserts, stretcher socks, and splints but these exercises beat them …

You can push the exercises to stop pronation too which then stops bunions from growing 
The critical exercise I found was to move the big toe left and right - only a small amount. This in turn created a gap between my big toe and my next …

Loose the shoes! 
Try barefoot walking and running. It strengthens feet and (in my experience) radically reduces bunion pain. People in 'shoeless' societies don't suffer …

Grateful For Your Experiment! 
Thank you so much for your tips. I love a positive take on this (or any) condition as the norm is to think nothing can be done. I am absolutely sure you …

I wonder if some of these are counterproductive 
As I understand it, the progression of bunions involves a pre-existing genetic tendency, but it plays out through having weak muscles to the outside of …

thanks for your tips 
I just found out today that apparently I have bunions! who knew! So now i am cruising around all the available bunion-sites. I appreciate your info …

Are these bunion exercises safe? 
hello, I've just realized that i've bunion problem. It's strange coz I don't really wear high heels that often (though I do sometimes). I don't feel pain …

Does it worK? 
I haven't tried it yet but i want to know if it really works to keep bunions from growing. Would it reverse it or just keep it from growing?? ------ …

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