A few years ago I had a bunion removed with surgery. A bunion is a bump on the base of the big toe joint that causes pain, reddening and/or inflammation. It can cause the formation of blisters and or calluses in and around the first and second toes and a dull or sharp pain the ball of the foot. Although the surgery was said to be a success, further down the road I believe it led to a neuroma (inflammation of the nerves located between the metatarsals of the foot) and a hammertoe. A hammertoe is caused by an imbalance in the muscles of the toes and foot from an unnatural gait and can also form from a bunion which forces your second toe into a cramped position, like wearing high heels or restrictive shoes.
I was unable to walk on that foot without pain. I could no longer run on my treadmill, teach kickboxing, jump rope without great difficulty and pain, let alone do a lunge, plank or pushup. The neuroma was more painful than the bunion was. Goodbye high heels! After repeated visits to the podiatrist with no success, I researched ways to bring relief to my foot so I could walk and do the things I love to do without pain.
When do you think about range of motion in the foot? Probably rarely, if at all! As we get older, our body starts to rely on our hips and knees to lift the legs to propel our body. The majority of us rarely think about treating the foot to get relief. Our feet get knotted up, tight and imbalanced, just like any other muscles in the body. Keeping elasticity in the foot and the muscles of the lower leg is critical to allow full ROM. Biomechanics, repetitive motion, sleep deprivation, dehydration all contribute to foot dysfunction and pain. Would you compromise the foundation of your house? Why not place importance on the foundation of your body?
Keeping the muscles in the lower leg supple and hydrated by rolling them out regularly with YTU balls relieved my symptoms of foot pain. As for the foot itself, rolling out the thick fascia and muscles to bring fresh blood and oxygen relieved the pain caused by foot dysfunction.
It is just as important to articulate your toes as it is to articulate your fingers for good foot health. Rolling out my tootsies and practicing Yoga Tune Up® exercises regularly as in the Quick Fix RX videos for Feet and Ankles and well as Yoga Tune Up® ball routines in the beginning of the Knee-Hab video has relieved the pain in my foot and increased the ROM in the big toe that I had lost from bunion surgery. It also relieved the pain associated with the neuroma, and the hammertoe is status quo. I can now do all the activities I love to do while keeping my tootsies happy!
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