Fixing Your Feet – Foot Exercise Solutions to Reduce Bunion Pain
Do you have a painful bunion and are surfing the net looking for solutions? When I get good questions in my inbox, I like to share the answers because I know there are other folks out there searching for solutions for their foot pain problems. This question about foot fitness exercises for a painful bunion came in this week. Check out the foot pain question, and my foot fitness tips, suggestions, and exercise recommendations below. Hope this information can help you get started alleviating foot pain too!
Questions about Foot Fitness Exercises and the Right Resources for a Painful Bunion:
“I am 58. I walk 4 to 5 miles every morning with dogs so a decent pace. I have a painful bunion on my right foot/large toe which has limited my toe movement. I have now developed pain in my left heel. It takes me a while in the morning or anytime I rise from a sitting position to gain balance. I am not large – 5’3 140 pounds. What do I need to order? Also, can I increase my right toe flexibility?” – Suzanne.
Aliesa’s Foot Fitness Thoughts and Suggestions:
Sorry to hear that you’re having foot pain. Thanks for the questions about your painful bunion, heel pain, and figuring out which foot fitness exercises will be best for you to start helping your feet to feel better. Below are some thoughts and suggestions to help get you started with foot exercise solutions to reduce bunion pain, and fix your feet.
Consult with Your Doctor or Podiatrist
My first recommendation for you is to consult with your physician or podiatrist to see if there is anything medically that needs to be addressed for your body. With the green light from your doctor to exercise your feet, my answer is yes it may be possible to increase your right toe flexibility. In working with my Pilates clients over the past twenty years, and teaching Fantastic Feet workshops, I’ve seen a lot of people reduce foot pain and improve their health with the right exercises in their training programs.
It’s going to take a combination of strategies to start re-aligning your toes. Your doctor might recommend toe spacers, orthotics, or other devices to help hold your toes in better alignment. Then getting the right foot-fitness exercises in your weekly workouts to stretch and strengthen your feet can help you get the right muscles working for better support.
Clean Out Your Closet and Replace Your Shoes
Also the shoes you’re wearing will also make a difference. Throw away ALL flip-flops, clogs, and strapless/backless shoes. If your shoes aren’t strapped onto your feet, they aren’t helping your alignment, and your toe and arch muscles can’t work correctly! Keep in mind that your current shoes are holding your current gait patterns when you walk, so it’s important as you improve your foot fitness, that you get new shoes to help reinforce your new and improved foot fitness habits!
Start Improving the Strength, Flexibility, and Fitness of Your Feet with Targeted Foot-Fitness Exercises
In my opinion with a bunion, it’s not just the flexibility that’s needed to get the big toe back in better alignment, but the strength to HOLD it there. And targeted foot fitness exercises for your ankles, arches, and toes is the only way to create better muscle balance for improved foot fitness and whole-body health.
Centerworks® Resources for Foot Fitness Exercises to Reduce Bunion Pain
The best place to get started improving toe and foot alignment is the Terrific Toe Series in the Fantastic Feet book. These simple foot fitness exercises are non-weight bearing (and chances are your fingers will do more work than your toes for a while until the muscles in your feet get stronger.)
The marbles & sticks in the Mini-Foot Fitness Kit will be great for the next step to progress your efforts, and the Yamuna Foot Savers, and Acupressure Massage Mat can help release muscles on the soles of your feet that are creating your current “holding pattern” for tension.
If you want ONE thing to start with, I’d recommend the Fantastic Feet book.
If you want to make a long-term investment in your foot fitness, get the Runfit Kit.
The Runfit Kit will have the Fantastic Feet book and everything I’ve mentioned above plus the Super-Ankle Foot Fit Board, which may come in handy to keep your ankles strong and flexible to help eliminate your heel pain.
When our feet hurt, or bones aren’t in proper alignment, we shift our gait and change our stride to avoid putting pressure on the parts that are painful. The problem with this is while it works for a while to keep us moving, in the long run it’s only setting you up for pain and potential injuries farther up the chain – ankles, knees, hips, back…
Getting Better Balance and Body Control
Our feet play a huge role, not only in propelling us forward, but for balance and body control. Everything from the soles of your feet, to your hips and core has a role to play for better balance.
For a quick 10 minute workout that will keep you off your feet and work rest of you to strengthen your hips and core, I recommend the Pulse Power! The Daily Dozen – 10 Minute Workout Plan.
I realize that you’re only asking about your Big Toe here, but it’s all connected! I can’t with a clear conscience tell you that just doing one exercise for your big toe is going to be the magic solution for better body alignment.
If you’ve got more questions, or would like to come see me in Wichita for a consultation so I can give you more personalized recommendations to help improve your foot fitness, please let me know. And if you’re interested in participating in a workshop, click here to see the schedule for upcoming Awesome Workshops™.
Regardless of how your feet feel today, it is possible to reduce stress, eliminate aches, and pains and help your painful bunions feel better. Bunion surgery is an option, but I’m a fan of being pro-active and exploring non-surgical options first! A little more targeted training time for your ankles, arches, and toes, just might do the trick to improve your big toe alignment and help keep your feet feeling fit, healthy, and pain-free!