Spring is here, which means running is officially back in season. Marathons are getting a lot of buzz and are pretty much stealing the show when it comes to outdoor activities this year. Even if your usual regimen has never given you many foot problems, ever since you’ve started training to run your first 26.2 miles, you may have noticed that the base of your big toe has developed a painful lump—a bunion. You can’t get rid of the bump, since it’s a biomechanical deformity, but there are ways that exercising your bunion can improve flexibility, relieve pain, and slow the progression of the deformity.
Before your next run, try placing a toe separator between your big toe and the one next to it. Get your foot to mimic a more normal position by taping the separator to your big toe. It’s also imperative that you buy a shoe with enough room for your feet to move around. If you overpronate, this should correct that repeated imbalance of pressure that sometimes causes bunions. There is also a variety of stretches that will help with the pain before and after a run.
For a stretch in your toes, sit on the floor and point them out for five seconds, then curl them under for another five. Do this ten times. You can also feel relief if you press against something, like a wall. When you’ve pushed your toes against the wall for a good ten seconds, repeat four more times and try the same exercise, but flex your toes the other way. Another good stretch comes from something as simple as placing your big toe in the proper position and holding for ten seconds for three or four reps.
Don’t run away from bunion pain; it’s only going to get worse. Exercising your bunion, and calling Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle Clinic at (405) 285-7408 for any needed treatment, will get you back to running your record pace in no time.
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