Too many Americans live with chronic pain in their backs, hips, legs, or feet. Many don’t know that it could berelated to Morton’s Toe. Before investing a lot of time and money into expensive tests and numerous doctors visits, take this simple at home test.
First look at your feet. Is your second toe slightly longer than your big toe? Second, check your feet by pulling down on your toes with your thumb while pushing up on the heads of the metatarsals with your fingers from underneath to make them stand out under the skin. If the second metatarsal or toe is longer, you might have Morton’s Toe, a genetic condition that effects 10% of the world population and approximately 80% of people with musculoskeletal pain have.
Here’s what happens: When you walk, the big toe absorbs practically all your weight for a fraction of a second. It is designed to handle this so it isn’t a problem unless your second toe hits the ground first. Your second toe isn’t strong enough to handle this so what your body does to compensate if you have Morton’s Toe is to roll your foot in the direction of the big toe. Over time, it makes your foot unstable, which starts a chain reaction of misalignment causing all kinds of problems and pain.
If not treated, Morton’s Toe can cause:
- Back, hip, or knee pain
- Bunions and hammer toes
Some simple solutions for addressing Morton’s Toe based on my online research:
- Make small circular foot pads approximately the size of a quarter for a woman and a half dollar for a man. You can make the foot pads by cutting the circle out of an insole, which you can get at any drug store. Stick the pads on the bottoms of a pair of shoe inserts at the head of the first metatarsal, sometimes called the “ball of the foot.” Make sure the pads don’t extend under the second metatarsal. Wear these in all your shoes including your slippers.
- Wear shoes with a high and wide toe area. You may need to get shoes a half size to a size larger to accommodate the longer second toe.
- You might also try a pair of orthotics with arch support to keep the foot aligned.
- Swedish massage, acupressure, and reflexology can also help ease the pain.
- Try Trigger Point Therapy – done usually by a massage therapist, a trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release.
If you think you have Morton’s Toe, go see your podiatrist for further evaluation.
Source: Trigger Point Book: Your Self-Treatment Guide to Pain Relief