Author - Anastasia Belikov, PT, Cert. MDT
Graduated with her DPT in 2017
Foot and Toe Exercises
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
The experience of toe pain often significantly correlates with the alignment of the toe in relation to the rest of the foot. A large number of us, often unbeknownst to ourselves, suffer from bunions of varying severity. Enhancing foot health through targeted exercises, the selection of appropriate footwear, and the use of toe spacers can serve as effective strategies to alleviate this discomfort.
Foot and toe exercises can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance, and may reduce pain associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and arthritis. Here are some exercises you can try:
1. Toe Curls:
Sit in a chair and place a small towel on the floor.
Keeping your heel on the ground, try to scrunch up the towel with your toes.
Repeat 5-10 times with each foot.
This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your toes and feet.
2. Heel and Toe Raises:
Stand up straight and slowly raise your heels until you're standing on your toes.
Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels slowly back to the ground.
Repeat this exercise 10 times, or do it one leg at a time.
This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your toes, feet, and calves.
3. Toe Splay:
Sit in a chair and spread your toes as far apart as possible.
Hold for a few seconds and then release.
Repeat this exercise 10 times on each foot.
This exercise helps to improve control over your toe muscles.
4. Big Toe Stretches:
While sitting, place your feet flat on the ground.
Lift your right leg and rest your right ankle on your left thigh.
Using your fingers, gently pull your big toe up, down, and to the side away from the other toes.
Repeat this exercise 5-10 times on each foot.
This exercise helps to relieve foot tension and stretch the big toe.
5. Marble Pickup:
Sit in a chair and place 20 marbles and a bowl on the floor in front of you.
Using your toes, pick up one marble at a time and place it into the bowl.
Repeat this exercise until you have picked up all the marbles.
This exercise can help strengthen your toes and improve your overall foot strength.
Remember to start slow and avoid any exercises that cause pain. Consult with a healthcare professional if you have any health concerns or conditions that could affect your ability to safely perform these exercises.