Bunion: Strengthening Foot Muscles to Reduce Pain and Improve Mobility

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2016 Jul;46(7):606. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2016.0504.


Foot pain discourages physical activity, and less activity harms overall health. Bunion, extra bone and tissue at the base of the big toe, is a frequent cause of foot pain. More than 64 million Americans have bunions that can lead to painful walking. Bunions affect some 35% of women over the age of 65. Bunions can be removed by surgery, which can reduce pain and improve your ability to walk and exercise, but up to 15% of bunions return. Weak muscles may play a role in bunion-related pain and movement problems. In a review of prior research and commentary on this topic published in the July 2016 issue of JOSPT, the author identifies muscle-strengthening exercises that may help people with bunions. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2016;46(7):606. doi:10.2519/jospt.2016.0504.

Keywords: bunion; foot; muscle-strengthening exercises.

Publication types

  • Patient Education Handout

MeSH terms

  • Bunion / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Pain Management