Fellowship of the Morton's Toe

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Nyal, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. PaulRJ

    PaulRJ
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    Hi everyone.

    Thanks so so much for your feedback. Its very motivating to think I'll be able to share my experience and find alternatives to try and overcome it and/or share opinions about it.

    TJ: following your advice, I'll switch to MN Talk, but before copy and pasting it there, let me followup here for those who have read up to here and may be interested in the thread.

    Hope the quote works. First time I've done that... :)
    The pain came up wearing vivobarefoot stealth. Since then I have been even more aware of the importance of wearing wide shoes (threw some away, widened others in a shoe makers shop, ...), and the truth is I'm not 100% sure right now that my Stealths aren't too small for me. I do notice pressure on the 4th toe, more than other shoes I have that aren't minimalistic. So maybe the combination of a more metatarsal oriented posture, plus a "less protector shoe" (yes, I know, that may sound streamline, but I will explain what I mean later, see if you agree) and the fact the shoe may be 1 size too small all contributed to the neuroma appearing. Maybe.

    In between the first pain and dropping running I tried to run 100% barefoot. I did 6k with no pain and was out of this world. Next day I woke up and I could hardly stand up :(

    Maybe both. :) But for me the most important conclusion I deduce from this comment is "specialization". To detect the neuroma, i went to the doctor asking for a traumatologist specialized in feet. Then, in parallel, I went to this friend podiatrist who also seemed to be specialized in sports. But I have'n searched for help from a local doctor specifically specialized in MN. That will most probably the next call I'll make to solve this issue if needed.

    Question: anybody round here now a MN specialized doctor near Barcelona, Spain?

    I will try and get a more specific answer on thursday, next visit.

    Linking this comment with your conclusion, you must know that from a conceptual point of view, I can't agree more. Plus, since I discovered the barefoot running world I have been totally convinced by all the arguments that defend it. It had produced a mental U-Turn in me, I was really enjoying myself and even broadcasting to all running friends.

    BUT, MN came along, and as explained I had to define a strategy, and, right or wrong, I have gone for the insoles. Am I totally conviced? No. Why? Because I can't believe it when the podiatrist says the effect of the insoles is going to be the same no matter what shoes I wear. I argued that I would believe him if he tried to convince me to stick to 1 type of shoe (with 1 inclination), but to imagine the insole is going to have the same effect wearing vivo's or wearing Asics doesn't convince me at all.

    BUT, you know the problem? The fact is that since I've been with the insoles, the pain has practically gone away, and these days I've been able to run 6 times without pain. Only up to 2K, but I couldn't do that before. If I listen to my body right now, I have the sensation the "traditional shoes" (which aren't tight on my toes in this case, as others may be) give me a slight extra sensation of protection that makes me feel more confident than the vivo's. At least for running. If above that there is no pain so I can imagine progressing towards running again and increasing the distance, today I think it may work.

    The first day the pain comes back, obviously I'll have to redefine the strategy (and probably throw the insoles away, go barefoot again, and explore one of the other different suggestions around), but until then, and for now (fingers crossed) I'm acheiving what I wanted: to start running again!!

    What do you think?

    I'll keep you updated...
     
  2. calnebarefoot

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    I have heard that the newer Vivobarefoot models are narrower than the older ones.

    I have:
    Evo3
    Neo Trail
    Breatho Trail
    Gobi
    Dharma

    and in all of them I can wear Correct Toes.

    Your story seems very similar to mine, I don't know if you have read it.

    My problems started April 2013,and stopped me running for 6 months from September 2013 until April 2014.

    Today I ran 9 miles in Paleobarefoots, and last weekend 10 miles in Luna Sandals.

    Have you tried Correct Toes?

    I wore them 24/7 for 6 weeks.

    Regards

    Steve
     
  3. Barefoot TJ

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  4. PaulRJ

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    - hi steve. Yes, i read your story. Sorry for not pointing that out. Yes, it sounds similar.

    In my case, 5 months, from last august to 2 weeks ago.

    When you started again, did you start with short distances?

    Before visiting the podiatrist (i'm sat down in his waiting room right now) i used silicon toe separators. First without pads on the bottom (just the silicon piece between 3rd and 4th toe). They didn't solve the pain (i have the impression they didn't do anything really). Then i tried the ones with pads on the bottom (sorry to not be more precise) and THESE hurt, so i stopped using them. Shortly after i started visiting the podiatrist, and he told me the toe seperators wouldn't do the job, because the neuroma is not between the toes, its further back in the foot. According to him, seperating the toes doesn't seperate the parts of the metatars that are pressuring and producing the neuroma.

    To be honest, i do have the impression this issue will not be solved only with insoles, and something has to be done with the toes. I'll bring up the correct toes topic in my visit, see what the podiatrist thinks.

    I'll keep you updated. Thanks steve
     
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  5. Sid

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  6. Efrem

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    I have Morton's toe on my left foot, which also has some hallux valgus, but not quite a bunion. I also have less ankle dorsiflexibility on that side, and I think it is mostly due to a shortened hallux (big-toe) flexor. One of the threads Sid linked to above got me thinking about straightening out my left hallux and improving its flexibility. I've been working on that since summer with some toe stretchers and stuff. Also whenever I'm sitting or standing I developed a habit of engaging my abductor hallucis to straighten out the toe. I can do it on command now but it still reverts back to a valgus position often when I'm running and not paying attention. So far I'm happy with the progress. I actually think the valgus has more to do with my problems than the morton's toe.

    haha sorry if that's a bit technical. Anyway since then I have been pleased to discover that increasing big toe flexibility has helped me with leg extension and I can get a longer stride going, really launching off of the extended leg which I could not really do before. Before, my left foot would rotate outward to avoid bending that big toe, but now I'm running "over the top of it" so to speak. It's still not even with my right side but I feel my gait is more symmetric now and it feels better.
     
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  7. wanderingoutlaw

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    I don't know how many times I've overlooked this topic over the past four years but I sure wish I'd read it back in 2010. I never would have guessed that Morton's Toe could be the reason for the callus that won't go away (after five years of barefooting) and the pain and tenderness in that same region. Also, why I haven't yet run further than 18 miles barefoot--although that should change this coming week on a trail run.

    Anyway, I guess I've always been a member of this fellowship of the morton's toe but didn't realize it til this year.
     
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  8. Barefoot TJ

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    Outlaw, now that you know there could be a tie between your pain and callous and the MT, if you do anything to correct it and it works, please let us know. You may be able to help others.
     
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  9. flammee

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    I might have gained something like this condition, five years of running without this kind of troubles... I stubbed my big toe twice and twisted my small toe once this summer. I realized I still could run, barefooted and with little different weight bearing, more on inside edge. So I did run - guess it caused injury to heal wrong... Now it feels like my foot automatically lands on inside edge of the foot.. It takes effort to make it land on outside edge... And at asphalt it feels like theres some extra lump under second metarsal. Feels like I can't do whole footed weight bearing.. That's while running, walking doesn't feel so awkward, sometimes I can feel there's something wrong, but when well warmed up, it feels normal. This condition caused foot pain at different places, so I probably cannot just run it back to normal.

    I wonder if I could heal this by sticking some patch under second metarsal and letting it slowly push it back up (while not running), so that when I remove the patch it would be normal again. Kinda like narrow shoes shape the foot.. But, I'm not really sure if my self diagnosis is right...
     
  10. Sid

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    I think that the practice of landing around the 4th and 5th met is a result of popular videos of a well-established barefoot runner. This is not to say that this is how everyone should land barefoot.

    Personally, I do best when landing around the 2nd or 3rd met, then spring off the big toe.

    Unless, one is having pain or other problems, it's hard to say that one is doing it wrong.
     
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  11. migangelo

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    flammee,

    there is a met head pad you can get to help. i had some but they don't stick to huaraches very well when it rains. go figure.
     

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  12. velcrochicken

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    I have a very subtle Mortons toe. It has caused a list of problems as long as my arm, from TFL, Glute Med, IT band, Calf tightness, arch issues all due to my foot not having that stable support from the first met.

    Currently experimenting with a met pad. Feels good so far.
     
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  13. maxx de williams

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    5654C8E2-AC58-4C4C-A819-DF9F117D0DE5.jpeg 5654C8E2-AC58-4C4C-A819-DF9F117D0DE5.jpeg Hello everybody
    I am a runner from Finland living and running (suffering) for one year in Spain. I am a minimalist runner and never had problems with huaraches until I began running barefoot here in the warm climate. 7k, 12k and 16k in 10 days and on top of that a 53k hike. Now I am suffering since 10 weeks from pain on the ball of my foot under the distal part of the metatarsal II. X-Ray and MRI showed no stressfracture. I did not unerstand what is wrong.
    Thank’s to this thread I now understand myself a little better. I hope I can join the Fellowship. I will upload an x-ray and you don’t have to measure anything. You will see my ”credentials” at a glance.
     
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  14. Barefoot TJ

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    Ha, you clearly are a member! You could possibly even be the president.

    I hope through this thread and our members' advice you will be able to find happier, pain-free running and hiking.

    Welcome! :barefoot:
     
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  15. Adriakus

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    I requst audience with Morton himself! I've got his toes and I guess he'll be looking for them.

    It took me 2 ethernities to read the posts this thread. Thank you thank you thank you all for your point of view. I have mine to add, too.

    My 2nd toe is about the same length as the 1st. But the 2nd metatarsal is definetely shorter and lower. Also, my 4th metatarsal is notably lower than the 3rd and the 5th an it looks like it's starting to develope a callus, too (my feer are like a piano haha).

    I'm not planning to go pure barefoot running anytime soon, but I aim to walk everyday as barefoot as possible (vivobarefoot or so) as soon as possible. I'd like to be able to run barefoot-like eventually, but I'm happy running with minimalist footwear until then.

    I've started transitioning 3 years ago. I've been wearing Brooks Pure Grit (4mm drop and "mild" cushioning but with a normal (stiff) sole) both for running and everyday walking for like a year and a half. Then, I've worn NB Minimus 20v5 (4mm drop, "mild" cushioning and almost no support/stiffness) for everyday use for like a year. Here is where I started to notice a hardening in my 2nd metatarsal head but I had no pain nor bothering at all. Then, I've started running with the NB (super short distances) and after a while, I felt something in my 2nd metty head when I was fully barefeet at home. I didn't give it any importance, so I kept doing the same. Until now, that I bought my first pair of Vivobarefoot and after using them for a few days I started feeling some mild pain in the 2nd metty head when walking in the street. Now, the mild pain has increased, so I've went back to wearing the NB or the Brooks and I feel nothing ('cause they have some cushioning :( ). Also, if I put any insole (sock liner) in the vivobarefoot, the pain goes away, too.

    At this point I started doing some research on the internet ('cause I don't wanna go to a doctor to have him tell me I should wear cloud-like shoes) and I ended up here.

    I'm trying to fix my feet. So, as I said, I started wearing more cushined shoes so I don't feel the pain and I let my metty heads to heal. Also, I noticed that if I over-create an arch in my foot with my foot muscles and I apply more weight on my big toe (and 1st metty head) I lower the 1st metty head and, therefore, I can manage to reduce stress on the 2nd metty head. Some would say "problem solved". But no. It's great, and I think it's the way to go for now (at least for walking) but it's kinda exhausting doing so. I'm getting better, though. But I don't know if the body is desingned to work this way, so the "arch muscles" are being forced to do more job than they are supposed to (this job should be done by the glutes). Also, another downside is that in order to be able to put more weight in my 1st metty/toe I kinda have to roll my feet inwards (turning my knees inwards and so on). Which this is one of the reasons why I wanted to go barefoot; to stop my knees from hurting (it's working, by the way). So... I'm lost here. I don't know where to go. What shall I be doing? Any exercises to make somethig stronger that helps the 2nd metty go higher, the 1st go lower, walking form...? Going as barefoot as possible avoiding any pain and be patient?

    Toe pads... I've red that a solution is to wear a pad under the 1st metatarsal head (only the head? Or under the toe, too?). But I was wonderig if this would be a permanent measure or wear them like if they were a cast. Once healed, take them off. But then I was wondering again... if you wear the pads under the 1st metatarsal, might this go against strengthening?

    Also, shall I send a MP to Nyal asking where did the homemade orthotics project go? Were they designed to be worn as a cast until recovery from pain, or life-long?

    And, I'd liek to ask, too, about the "noodle legs" thing. If I walk and I don't think what my legs/feet are doing, all my system turns inwards, my arches colape (a little bit) and my 2nd metty head hits the ground hardes. That's not good for me. What do you guys mean when you say relaxing? I'm physically relaxed, but focused on what my feet and legs are doing.


    Sooo... Sorry for this dictionary I wrote! I'll try to summarize the points here haha:
    1. 4th metatarsal lower than the 3rd and the 5th and starting to develope a callus.
    2. Wear cushioned shoes to let the metatarsal heads heal
    3. Force-create arch with the foot muscles and put more weight on the 1st metatarsal/toe
    4. Exercises, form or anything to make the 1st metatarsal go lower or the 2nd go higher
    5. Toe pads as a way to allow the feet get stronger and put everything in place or as a life-time cast
    6. How do you guys walk? How do you do it? Each and every single thing you (used to) think and focus on when going farefoot
     
  16. Barefoot TJ

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    HA! You so funny!

    Sounds like you've figured out that your 2nd metatarsal feels better with cushioning (cloud-like though?). Perhaps a sports doctor or sports chiropractor could help?

    How can you sustain the the arch-lifting movement/knees rolling inward/big toe weight bearing though? Sounds like a pain in the ass to me. A doctor would say that orthotics would do this for you, but I am not a fan of orthotics. You can continue to practice this and hopefully over time, it will come second nature to you. But perhaps you need to strengthen your glutes, your knees, and your feet? A sports doctor could tell you exactly which exercises you need to do. We happen to have some barefoot-friendly ones here on our site in the Ask the Docs forum. Of course, seeing a doctor in person would be best, but you can always post a video of different angles or your walking and running (barefoot, since shoes mask your true gait).

    You are supposed to wear the pad under the met head, not the toe. The aim is to lift the met head...not the toe. If you lift the toe, then you are displacing the pressure back into the met head; if you lift the met head, then...

    Anytime you do something like this, wear orthotics or pads, it will become a crutch/cast until you can permanently, naturally correct the problem. I honestly don't know how you will "heal" if you never take the cast off. At least with a broken arm, for example, the cast comes off after the healing, but if we leave the cast on, our arm will atrophy and become extremely weak.

    And yes, wearing the pad will go against strengthening. Trying to strengthen your toes while wearing the pads will not allow you to heal/strengthen them in the natural way either.

    Unfortunately, Nyal doesn't post here anymore, but you can try to reach him through messaging on our site.

    I'll leave this to the others to respond to.

    Welcome! :barefoot:
     
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  17. Adriakus

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    First, I must thank you for the promptly reply! Also, I never thanked you for this forum! Amazing.

    No, not cloud-like. Anything works. Even this thick hiking socks with extra padding in the area. Another shoe's sockliner (insole) does the trick, too. So I don't think I need Nyal's orthotic for now.

    It's easy but mentally tiring. You have to pay attention at first. I take it as a day-long exercise to strengthen my arches. Now I've already muscle-memorized the form, so it comes kinda natural (the arch thing).
    The "mild pain" has decreased a lot (almost gone) so I don't need to accentuate the arch that much and I don't need to adjust the rest of the chain (knees, ankles and so) to aid to the creation of the exagerated arch. Therefore, now I walk normaly but I still focus on create and mantain the arch (just the arch, no extra frills like knees involved... haha) to avoid the extra weight bearing in the 2nd metatarsal.

    However, I feel that it will start hurting againg after the first step I do running. I'll have to be more ready before running barefoot(-ish), I guess.

    I DO need to strengthen my glutes (but I don't know how! And I'm really bad at exercise routines; I got bored of doing the same over and over) and I happen to have short hamstrings, so they need a lot of work in flexibility. This is the main cause of my knee pain (which had gone since I started transitioning to barefeet footwear).
    I will ask the Docs if they can guide me somewhere. Is there a special section where to post your own issues? Or just drop them in "ask the Docs"? I will go to a friendly osteopathist to sort some things out, too. The thing is that I don't know how incined to barefoot walking is she and I'd like to be ready with questions and opinions of what she might say.
     
  18. Barefoot TJ

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    You're very welcome!

    I would mentally tired if I had to focus so hard on my form while running too, but I can see where doing so...along with the right exercises...after a period of time could work to lessen the effort.

    Maybe our docs could give you multiple exercises to do, so you don't get bored.

    If you want to hear from the members about their experiences with general running health, you can post in the Health forum (Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions) here: https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/forums/health-nutrition-injuries-medical-conditions.7/

    If you want an more expert opinion, you can post in the Ask the Docs forum here: https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/forums/ask-the-docs.15/

    We do have a Barefoot-Friendly Doctors & Specialists Map you can check to see if there is a barefoot-friendly doc near you here: https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/barefoot-friendly-doctors-specialists-map.416/ Or if you learn of one, you can add them to the map too.

    Good luck!
     
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  19. Hannu Mieskolainen

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    Hello!
    I recignized You by "photo" :)
     
  20. maxx de williams

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    Hello Hannu! So you told me. But thank you for looking at my X ray and noticing maybe a dislocation of the 2. met. head.
    Keep running!
     
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