Stretch your Toes to Prevent Bunions and Bunion Pain

Stretch your Toes to Prevent Bunions and Bunion Pain

Several weeks ago, I suggested that you can help prevent bunions by paying attention to how you stand. I promised to write the following week about another way to prevent bunions.  But life got in the way, I went to Los Angeles and managed to get 2 thoracic compression fractures from lugging suitcases. I spent my entire visit there beginning my healing process. And I took two weeks vacation from this column.

I’m back today to share another way to prevent bunions and bunion pain. By spreading and moving your toes and especially your big and little toes.

I will tell you more about intelligent movement with compression fractures next week. The highlight will be a flat back forward hinge using a walker. Yes, folks, a walker can be a great prop for intelligent movement. Stay tuned.

Now, back to bunions

Lift and spread your toes at any and every opportunity. This will strengthen the abductors of your big and little toes. These toes get scrunched by wearing shoes with narrow toe boxes. Which can lead to bunions and bunion pain.

One simple way to spread your toes is to sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Make sure your feet touch the floor easily. Or place them on a thick coffee table book. Place a strong rubber band or strong hair band around your two big toes. You could also use those popular rubber arm bracelets. Sit in Good Posture or lean forward with a Flat Back Hip Hinge. (See my website library for more details on these moves.) Keeping your feet parallel to each other, move them far enough apart that the band becomes taut. This will pull the big toes toward each other. Curl your toes down into the mat with the tips of your toes to lift your inner arches and inner ankles. Stay here for several breaths. Relax your feet and repeat.

Or try this movement that focuses on the Big Toe.


  1. Sit in a hard-bottomed chair in Good Posture, with your barefoot flat on the floor.
  2. Your knees and ankles should form a 90-degree angle.
  3. Breathe in. Breathe out. Become aware of your breath.
  4. Become aware of your foot tripod at (1) base of the heel, (2) base of the Big Toe, (3) base of the 5th Toe.
  5. When your foot tripod feels even, bring your R bent knee toward your chest.
  6. Cross your R ankle on top of your L knee, rotating the head of the femur (thigh bone) in the acetabulum (hip socket).
  7. Hold on to the joint at the base of the Big Toe with your R hand.
  8. Use the L hand to move the Big Toe through all its available directions of movement. Flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and rotation.
  9. Switch side and repeat everything of the L Big Toe.
  10. Return to your starting position.
  11. If you have time repeat these movements on each toe on both feet.

Summing Up:

Bunions occur when your toes get scrunched with narrow toe shoes. Stretching and spreading your precious toes may help. Try these movements suggested here and let me know your experience.

Reference: Amber Burke, Yoga for Bunions,

[Medical Disclaimer: This article is for education and information only. It is not a substitute for a doctor’s opinion.] 

Photo credit: ID 69305551 © |

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