Thursday, 27 June 2013

Foot Exercises for Bunions


This is a bony outgrowth at the joint at the base of your big toe. If you suffer from a bunion, your big toe will point towards the other toes of that foot, pushing the joint outwards. Bunions can cause, pain, swelling and tenderness. Bunions could be hereditary, or they can arise due to wearing ill fitting shoes. It occurs more often in people who have flexible joints. Certain illnesses like RA and gout could cause bunions.

Treating bunions

There are a number of ways to treat bunions. Podiatrists usually try non surgical ways to treat bunions. Only in extreme cases will foot surgery be considered. Topical pain relievers help relieve the pain and swelling. There are spongy toe separators available. These can be tucked between the big toe and the next on, stopping the big toes from projecting inwards. 

Moleskin straps help hold the big toe in position. Toe alignment splints stop the projection of the big toe inwards. Gel bunion sleeves and tube foams are helpful. You can also get lesion pads which help heal wounds created, when the protrusion of the bunion rubs against footwear causing friction and blisters. 

These orthotic devices will only reduce the pain to an extent. In most cases, they will not be able to fully stop the inward projection of the toe. It works better in children as their foot is still in a formative stage. If you seek help in the beginning stages of the formation of a bunion, orthotics may be of more help. But usually people do not realize they are suffering from bunions till they start feeling the pain. 

Exercises for preventing bunions

Doming the foot

Sit in a straight backed chair and place your feet on the floor with both your feet together, keeping your feet relaxed. Now raise the arch of your foot off the floor balancing the foot on the big toe, little toe and the heel. Do not curl your toes. Now relax your foot once more. 

Half squat heel raises

Stand with your feet parallel to one another and slightly apart. Bend your knees as you go down for a squat and then straighten up and continue on to stand balanced on your toes with your heel raised. Try balance more towards your big toe. 

Raising your heel

This can be done sitting or standing, though standing heel raises are more effective. Stand with your feet slightly apart, feet parallel to one another and raise your heel off the floor, till you are balancing your body weight on your toes. Shift the balance as much as possible onto your big toe. Then lower your feet again. 

Squat to heel spring rise

Try this out slowly first and if you feel pain anywhere, do not do this exercise. You could try it sitting down. If standing, squat halfway and then spring up till your heel is slightly off the floor. Then, go down again to squat position. If you are sitting, keep the full foot on the floor and then raise the heel off and then back down. 

Repeat each exercise ten times to start with and work up to 25 repetitions a day. If you can’t do that many repetitions in one sitting, split it up over the day. If the standing exercises cause pain, do only the sitting ones. It is better to have your podiatrist show you the right way to do these exercises, as you do not want to hurt some other part of your body while doing these exercises. With a little help you could keep the bunions at bay!

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