Bunion surgery can bring relief to patients suffering from foot pain. And, once the pain subsides during the recovery period, there are some easy exercises you can do to help regain mobility. A local foot doctor from Westside Podiatry Group in Rochester, NY, suggests doing the following exercises for optimal recovery.
Once your foot doctor clears you for exercise, it’s best to begin with basic manipulations. To help regain toe movement, grab your big toe near the base joint and gently bend it downward. Once you feel some resistance, hold the position for about 10 seconds and repeat the movement three times. Then, repeat the same process but bend your toe upwards instead. During recovery, you should aim to do this manipulation exercise a few times per day.
Even though the big toe is the focus of bunion surgery, don’t neglect your foot and ankle during recovery. Because of inactivity, you’ll want to incorporate exercises that keep your foot and ankle engaged and healthy. An easy way to do so is with “foot letters.” To begin, stretch your leg out and keep your big toe pointed, with the rest of your toes curled under.
Imagining your big toe is a pencil, “write out” the letters of the alphabet, being sure to swivel your ankle and foot as you go through the motions. Once you reach the end of the alphabet, feel free to spell out the names of people or places if your ankle feels strong enough. These exercises will make sure you don’t lose mobility in your foot and ankle during recovery.
If your foot doctor clears you for more intense exercise, adding in a resistance band is a great way to keep your joints limber. While seated, place your foot into a resistance band so that the band is under the arch of your foot. Grip the other end with your hand, and gently guide the band so that it stretches your ankle in different directions. The goal of this exercise is to stretch your foot and ankle and increase your range of motion.
If you’re able to do weight bearing exercises, that usually means you’re nearing the end of your recovery process. Every day, try doing short bursts of walking to give your body the extra boost of mobility it needs to recover. Your foot doctor might suggest starting with crutches, and gradually adding more weight each day until you no longer need assistance. Take your time and be gentle with yourself. The key to a great recovery is staying active within the limits of your body.
If you’re suffering from bunion-related foot pain, reach out to the specialists at Westside Podiatry Group in Rochester, NY. For decades, their physicians have treated local patients for various foot problems, from heel spurs to pain from diabetic complications. Visit them online for more information or call (585) 225-2290 to make an appointment with a foot doctor.