2752 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
Serving Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Greater Chicagoland Communities
Exercise Those Toes!
Dr. Debra Young and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your feet. Please use our podiatric library to learn more about foot problems and treatments available. We have articles on prevention and treatment. There are also conditions that are in the big toe that are not bunions. You need to know about these also so you can be well informed. Hallux Rigidus and hallus limitus describe stiffness in the great toe joints; but without a big angle. We call them "no sympathy" bunions because one's friends remark "how can it hurt if it looks so normal". If that sounds familiar, read about those conditions under foot problems and foot deformities.
We also have booklets you can request free of charge; select contact us and send us an email to get them.
Many people underestimate the importance of keeping their toes physically fit. Toes take a lot of abuse from the hours we spend on our feet each day. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends doing the following simple exercises to strengthen your toes and prevent foot discomfort.
Toe raise, toe point, toe curl: Hold each position for five seconds and repeat 10 times. This especially recommended for people with hammertoes or toe cramps.
Toe squeeze: Place a small, cylindrical object, such as a wine cork, between your toes and hold a squeeze for five seconds. Do this 10 times. Recommended for people with hammertoes and toe cramps.
Big toe pulls: Place a thick rubber band around the big toes and pull them away from each other and toward the small toes. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times. Recommended for people with bunions or toe cramps.
Toe pulls: Put a thick rubber band around all of your toes and spread them. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat 10 times. This is especially good for people with bunions, hammertoes or toe cramps
Golf ball roll: Roll a golf ball under the ball of your foot for two minutes. This is a great massage for the bottom of the foot and is recommended for people with plantar fasciitis, arch strain, or foot cramps.
Towel curls: Place a small towel on the floor and curl it toward you, using only your toes. You can increase the resistance by putting a weight on the end of the towel. Relax and repeat this exercise five times. Recommended for people with hammertoes, toe cramps, and pain in the ball of the foot.
Marble pick-up: Place 20 marbles on the floor. Pick up one marble at a time and put it in a small bowl. Do this exercise until you have picked up all 20 marbles. Recommended for people with pain in the ball of the foot, hammertoes, and toe cramps.
Sand walking: Take off your shoes and walk in the sand at the beach. This not only massages your feet, but also strengthens your toes and is good for general foot conditioning.