Hallux Limitus

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Jelani Felix, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Jelani Felix

    Jelani Felix Barefooters

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    After reading Born to Run I picked up Ken Bob's Barefoot Running step and started my journey in Barefooting. This began last August, and since then I've been slowly increasing my distance as I find it comfortable to do so, and back off if encounter and pain or soreness. I never run more than 3 times a week, and have a pair of xero shoe huaraches for going into stores that require, or if it gets too cold in Los Angeles. For years I've been able to hear cracking sounds come from my feet at if walk barefoot; barefoot running does not seem to have made this worse. For about two weeks I've been experiencing some aching in MTP joints of my great toes, so i decided to see a podiatrist. After wiggling my toes about, he diagnosed me with Hallux Limitus and believes the cause is my low arches. His prescription is a set of orthotics. I'm hesitant to go down this path because I don't want to further weaken my feet after a lifetime of shoes. He said that physical therapy wouldn't help, and that surgery was not yet required. My feet were more flat before I started barefooting, but I don't want damage my toe joints any further. I'm in the market for a second opinion, but I have yet to call my GP. I'd rather not end my barefoot journey after just getting my toes wet. My questions are:

    1: Is is possible to slow/stop the progression from Hallux Limitus to Hallux Rigidus and still maintain a barefoot lifestyle?

    2: Is there a specific type of therapy I could look into or ask my doctor about that might help with question 1?

    3: Anybody know a barefoot friendly doctor, podiatrist, or physical therapist in Los Angeles, CA?


    Thanks Docs,
    happy barefooting
     
  2. Dr. Mark

    Dr. Mark Barefooters
    1. West Virginia

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    Jelani see below and have no fear that the barefoot activity you are doing will progress your problem likely the opposite is true as the short barefoot runs keep the muscle, bone, and tendons fully functioning and at the end of the day this protects your feet.
    The is a sports chiro and running genius Lawrence van Lingen in LA. here is his website to reach him. He can help evaluate you

    Mark





     
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  3. Jelani Felix

    Jelani Felix Barefooters

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    Mark,
    Thanks for advice, encouragement and the contact info Lawrence van Lingen. van Lingen looks to a be a man of the legendary sort, I've watched some of of his videos; this one is about three things your feet must do before ditching orthotics used for running. While I don't run in, or wear, orthotics, it's been suggested that start wearing them. So this video would seem to apply to me. The three things are:
    1. Independent big and small control
    2. At least 30° mtp joint flex under load
    3. Neutral Ankle and forefoot
    I can barely manage 1, 2 is not possible, and 3 is almost there. The 30°of motion the hallux MPT joint is not happening for me right now, so that's something I can work on. I thought I was going slowly enough into barefoot running, but it looks like Barefoot Runner Exuberance Syndrome got the best of me. So, despite how fun barefoot running is, I'm going to put it on hold for a while. In the meantime, I've compiled a list exercises I can do that will hopefully help with my foot strength and proprioception.
    1. short foot,
    2. lacrosse ball rolling,
    3. heel raise with ball squeeze
    4. towel curls
    5. big toe lift
    6. small toe lift
    7. abduction and adduction of the toes
    8. self mobilization of the Hallux MTP joints.
    In compiling that list, I've come to realize that my feet are much weaker than I thought, and my control over the basic functions are quite limited. I've got my work cut out for me!

    I have another visit with my doctor scheduled on Monday, and one with a physical therapist as well. I'm going to run my plans by them, and see what they have say. I'm also going to push to have radiographs done for a more concrete diagnosis for my Hallux Limitus. Lawrence van Lingen is a bit of a drive from where I live in LA, but I'm considering doing an evaluation with him.

    Jelani


     

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