How To Relieve Bunion Pain: 6 Exercises For Bunions

Bunions are bony bumps that form on the side of the foot, and while surgery is the only way to get rid of them permanently, most bunions can be managed without surgery.

In this article, we will explore the best bunion exercises to slow down the progression of your bunion, maintain flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that control the big toe. We will also look at other ways to help relieve bunion pain alongside performing bunion stretches. 

When performing bunion exercises, we recommend doing them on both feet, even if only one foot is affected, to ensure both are strengthened.

6 Exercises For Bunions

1. Toe Stretches

This is a simple bunion exercise that works on your toe joints by flexing the muscles under your feet and helps reduce foot pain while sitting.


  • Point your toes straight ahead
  • Curl them under and hold for a few seconds
  • Repeat for 20 reps for 2 to 3 sets.


2. Spread the Toes

This exercise is great for stretching the muscles in your feet and toes and can be performed while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • Raise your toes towards the sky
  • Spread your toes as far apart from each other as you comfortably can by only using your foot muscles
  • Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Relax your toes
  • Repeat for a minute and then repeat on the other foot 

3. Ball Roll

The ball roll exercise helps you focus on areas that feel painful and tight. For this exercise you need a ball, you can use a tennis ball, golf ball or a plastic ball. 

  • Place the ball on the bridge of your feet
  • Roll your foot back and forth over the ball
  • Repeat this exercise for 3 to 5 minutes

4. Towel Scrunch

This exercise is great for strengthening muscles in the sole of the foot and helps correct the muscular imbalances that can cause bunion development. The towel scrunch exercise works best while seated on a chair and will require a towel. 

  • Place the towel flat on the ground and put your foot on top
  • Curl your toes around it
  • Pull the towel towards you while keeping your heels firmly on the ground
  • Aim to repeat this exercise at least 10 repetitions per session

5. Marble Pick-Ups

This simple but effective exercise helps strengthen your coordination and tibialis anterior muscle, which runs along the sole of your foot. For this exercise, you will need some marbles and an empty bowl.

  • Place the marbles on the floor near the bowl
  • Use your toes to pick up each marble
  • Drop them into the bowel
  • Aim to perform this exercise for at least 5 minutes daily with each foot

6. Heel Raise

When doing heel raises, make sure you are standing with your knees bent. 

  • Lift your heel off the floor
  • Raise yourself onto the ball of your feet as high as you can
  • Let your heel slowly fall back to the floor and quickly raise yourself up again
  • Repeat this 10 to 20 times, with each repetition held for 5 seconds

More Ways to Relieve Bunion Pain

Bunion pain is a source of discomfort and inconvenience for many people. In addition to bunion exercises, there are several other ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by bunions. Continue reading to find out more about how to relieve bunion pain.

 Wear Wide Footwear

When looking for footwear, there are a couple of things you should be looking for to make sure you get maximum comfort and support. We recommend you wear shoes with a wider toe box as having your toes squished tightly in your shoes will be very uncomfortable and cause pain. Also, ensure your shoes have good arch support, as this will distribute your weight evenly and reduce the pressure on your feet. 

Here are a few of our recommendations for different types of shoes for somebody who has bunions. Firstly, the Adesso Caitlin shoes fit the shape of your foot, allowing it to accommodate a variety of foot shapes, along with a memory foam footbed which provides you with enhanced comfort and pressure relief.                     

Another great option is the Fidelio Gallery, as these boots are bunion friendly and are cushioned with an insole to keep your feet supported and comfortable throughout the day. They also can be used with orthotics if you’re looking for that extra support.  

By choosing shoes that prioritise comfort and support, you can help to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by bunions and keep your feet healthy and happy.

Wear Orthotic Shoe Insoles

Orthotic shoe insoles provide additional support and cushioning to your feet, reducing the pressure and friction on the bunion. They can help to correct any underlying issues that may have contributed to the development of the bunion, such as flat feet, by providing additional arch support. In addition, they can keep your feet in alignment, which can help prevent further damage and provide pain relief.

Wear Bunion Sleeves

Bunion sleeves are designed to slide onto your big toe and the ball of your feet, and they cover the bunion with a soft cushion. The primary purpose of a bunion sleeve is to ease the rubbing you may experience when wearing footwear. 

Wear Gel Pads

Bunion pads are an effective way to reduce pressure and friction on the affected joint. By providing cushioning, the pads redistribute pressure away from the bunion and act as a barrier between the bunion and footwear. This helps to prevent the bunion from rubbing directly against the side of the shoe, which can be a source of pain and discomfort. If you have a bunion, using a bunion pad can be a simple and affordable way to manage your symptoms and improve your comfort levels.

Wear Toe Separators

Toe separators are designed to relieve bunion pain and discomfort. They work by adding cushioning between the toes, preventing them from rubbing against each other and causing irritation. Additionally, they can help to temporarily align the toes, which can improve the appearance of the bunion and reduce pressure on the affected joint. 

While toe separators cannot reverse or heal the bunion, they may provide immediate pain relief and help to straighten the toe joint while wearing them. They are designed to be worn inside shoes and are available in various sizes and materials to suit different needs and preferences.

Wear Bunion Splints

Bunion splints are designed to prevent the big toe and second toe from pushing against each other and help keep the toes in the correct position reducing the pain from bunions. Bunion splints tend to be used at night since they can’t be worn with footwear. They can be used for post-operative care after surgery as they immobilise the big toe for uninterrupted healing. 

Simply Feet Are Here To Help

At Simply Feet, we recommend consulting your local GP or podiatrist if you are suffering from severe pain or discomfort.

We offer a huge range of products for bunions including footwear, insoles, toe separators, and bunion sleeves. You can also shop wide fit and comfortable shoes that are suitable for bunions from top brands such as Adesso and Fidelio.

If you require any assistance or have any questions, please get in touch!

Some of our favourite Bunion Friendly Footwear

Fidelio Heaven H
Adesso Caitlin
Rieker Bogota
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