Foot problems can be a pain as they can prevent you from going about your regular life. Such issues can either be short-term, like a sprain, or something as long-term as a bunion. This foot disorder will only get worse with time in the absence of proper treatment. Besides professional medical help, you can fasten the recovery process by doing some home exercises.
Not only will exercising relieve some pain, but it will also help you correct the structure of your foot. So if you are suffering from bunion pain yourself, or know somebody who is going through it, we suggest you read the entire article and learn some effective exercises for the same.
How Does Bunion Form?
Before we get started with the exercises to help you relieve the bunion pain, it is crucial to understand the cause. Once we are aware of the root problem, we stand a chance at a better and faster recovery.
A bunion is a joint deformity that is formed due to muscle and tendon imbalances in the calf and foot. In layman’s terms, it is the formation of a bony bump at the base of your big toe. It pushes the tip of your big toe towards the smaller ones, thereby forcing the joint at the toe’s base to stick out.
Such a situation is often referred to as the “zigzag” of the bones. The big toe “zigs” or moves towards the other smaller toes, and the metatarsal or the base of it “zags” out. Such a foot deformity can cause severe pain and irritation.
More often than ever, a bunion comes along with the collapse of the foot’s inner arch. This could amplify the problem as the bunion becomes inflamed and sore.
What Causes it?
It is seen that wearing tight-fitting and narrow shoes can lead to bunions over time. Women are more susceptible to getting bunions as their footwear requires them to align their feet in unnatural positions. Moreover, they suffer from arthritis more than men that can worsen the bunions.
Bunions could also be hereditary as the shape of the bones and ligaments is based on our genes.
Moreover, a habit of bad walking posture could weaken the arch ligaments and put immense pressure on the metatarsal bone of the big toe. Furthermore, this can bunch up the toes as the adductor muscles become tight. It becomes weak and overstretched, worsening the situation.
Effective Exercises for Bunion Pain Relief
The pain derived from the bunion can be irritating as well as extremely severe. Besides taking pain relief medicines, you can practice the following exercises to get some relief:
Let us start with a difficult, yet one of the most effective exercises. Stand with your knees slightly bent and raise your inner arch with your heel inward. Push the heel up from the ground while taking the big toe as support.
You can hold that position for five seconds and then gently place your foot on the ground. Repeat this exercise ten times.
Toe Points and Curls
Flexing the muscles under your feet can target toe joints. Start by sitting down with your feet about six inches off the floor. Point and curl your toes and repeat this for twenty reps for 3 reps each.
This is one of the easiest exercises to get rid of bunion pain. It helps in mobilizing the joints ad effectively reduces stiffness.
Sit on a chair and hold a grip over your big toe. Circle around the toe in a clockwise position twenty times. Once completed, reverse the cycle and circle around it in an anti-clockwise direction. You can do approximately two-three sets on each toe.
Sit comfortably in a chair and raise your feet about six inches from the ground. Raise your big toe while keeping the rest of your feet parallel to the ground. Hold the position for ten seconds and do five reps on each foot.
If you wish, you can add extra resistance by putting slight pressure on your toes with your hands.
Take a bowl and 15-20 marbles. Scatter the marbles on the floor and keep the bowl on the ground. Try to pick up the marbles with your toes and put them in the bowl.
Towel Grip and Pull
Use a dry towel and place it on the floor. Sit down on a chair and try to pick it up with your toes. Scrunch your toes to pick it up. Once your feel slight pressure on your toes, relax for a few seconds and repeat with the other foot.
Sit on a chair while placing your foot on the floor. Fixate your heel to the ground and try to lift and spread your toes. Repeat this 20 times with each toe.
Take a tennis ball and place it under your foot. Roll it front and back as well as back and forth for five minutes. Repeat it for both your feet.
Figure Either Rotation
Sit in the same position as the toe circle exercise. But instead of circling around clockwise and anti-clockwise, move your toe to form an “8” figure. Repeat this ten times on each toe.
Take an exercise band and wrap it around both your big toes. Try to pull your big toes away from the other small toes. Hold it for five seconds and continue for twenty reps.
Besides the regular exercises, you can also try the following methods:
Walk on the Beach
If possible, you must try walking on sand as it can be a therapeutic foot massage. It can help relieve the pain as well as fasten the recovery process.
Wearing snug-fitted shoes with a wide toe area and low heels can cause less irritation while walking.
Dabbing the affected area with ice packs can potentially reduce inflammation.
Soaking your feet in warm water can prove out to be a relaxing experience.
The bottom line
Bunion pain can be harsh, painful, and even permanent if not treated correctly within the right time frame. We advise you to adhere to your medical professional while also practice the exercises mentioned above. This will surely help you eliminate excess pain and help you recover faster and in a better manner.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.