3 Secret Benefits of Toe Stretching

An easy (free) way to stretch your toes!Lateral toe stretching is a common yoga practice that can also be accomplished with toe spreading devices. Here are three surprising benefits of this practice:

1. Reduced foot pain

Stretching your toes elongates and relaxes the muscles, preventing painful spasms and contractions. When combined with toe strengthening exercises, stretches can also help prevent overuse or repetitive stress injuries, which are also very painful.

2. Help with bunions and hammertoes

While toe-stretching can not heal either of these conditions, they can help remove some of the exacerbating factors, like pressure and abnormally aligned body parts, meaning they may ease the progression of both conditions.

3. Morton’s Neuroma

Toe-stretching also can help ease pain from Morton’s neuroma, since the painful nerve irritation is aggravated when toes and feet are compressed into tight and/or pointy shoes.

While you can always take the lazy way out and use a store-bought toe-stretcher, I recommend trying these exercises from Healthline.com before you take out your wallet:

·  Take your toes in your hands and bend them all downward, to stretch the top of your foot.

·  Take your toes in your hands and bend them all upward, enough to feel a nice stretch in the bottom of your foot, not just the toes.

·  Pull each toe apart from the next.

·  Pull the little and big toes away from each other at once, restoring healthy width to the front of the foot.

·  Pull any toes that are bent-up until they are back downward. Pull bent-down areas gently straight, and pull curled toes straight out to restore straight length.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.