Sunday, 7 April 2013


I thought it might be helpful to have a post with all the exercises I have to do.

Currently, I do a mixture of things my physio has given me, and some that I have found/invented myself.

1 - the elastic band
Take an elastic band, a reaonably thick one, and hook it round the big toe from below. allow the band to pull the toe up, then use muscles to pull toe back down next to the others. Repeat 20 times.
Move band so it is hooked from above. Use other foot to hold it on ground then lift foot so big toe is pointing down and other toes are not. Use muscles to pull the toe up, next to the others. Repeat 20 times.

Do 2-3 sets of these twice a day.

2 - the resistance band
Hook resistance band around something heavy, like a table leg. Place foot inside band loop, with band on big toe side of foot. Move foot till it is swung out to the side by the resistance. Then scoop the foot against the resistance even more, as though you wanted to look at the sole of your foot. Repeat 10-20 times.

Do 2 sets 2 times a day, building up to 3-4 sets once a day.

I found some pictures of this. The first one shows how I've been doing it, using the kitchen table leg to hold the band out to the side. I used to sit on a chair but it makes my knee hurt so now I sit on the floor like this guy is:

Picture courtesy of

And then I found this picture:

Picture courtesy of

Which shows using the other foot to hold the band so you can hold it with your hand, meaning you can do it anywhere. Revelation! I'll be doing it like that from now on.

3 - toe curls
Various things to help the toes curl up and back, like tiptoeing but not while standing.

a) Lie in bed on your front. Curl toes under and use mattress resistance to help you bend them until it begins to feel uncomfortable. Stop and breathe through discomfort, then increase the stretch.

b) Face a wall, a little way away, and place palms on wall, leaning forward, as though to do a calf stretch, but then go on toes to curl them back. Do both at once if possible, one at a time if not. Increase stretch by moving further away from the wall.

Personally, I find this one scary and painful, and so I do it one at a time, but Ed says I should do it both together ideally.

c) Stand facing a stair (or wall). Position yourself so your toes are up the stair and your sole on the floor. The closer you are to the stair, the bigger the stretch.

4 - tiptoe exercise
Go up on tiptoe, either using your hand to support yourself on a table or sofa, or freestanding, and allow your weight to go through the toes. Go as high as you can.

5 - toe bends
These are to help your toes bend down, and to counteract all that tiptoeing.

a) Sit down and use your hand to bend all the toes over and down, stretchng as much as possible. Then do each toe one at a time.

b) Stand up, and tuck the toes of one foot under so the nails are on the floor. Put some body weight through until the stretch is uncomfortable, then hold.

6 - toe V-bends
Using your hands, pull the big toe out, away from the other toes, to create a V shape. Hold at your maximum stretch for a while, then release.

Currently, these are all the things I am doing, as well as massaging my feet generally, and my plantar fascia muscle (the arch of the foot) specifically, as that gets quite achy.

It's a lot, and that's why they don't all get done every day, but they do all get done over a week, usually. It is hard work, but that's the only way that the mobility can be regained - it won't come back on its own, you do need to work at it.


  1. I just got back from bunions il recently and they suggested a lot of the same exercises. I do them daily. It really is not a lot of fun but it seems to be effective.

  2. Yep. Not fun at all, but they work. How are you doing now?