Pain from barefooting, possibly MT related?

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Spinningwoman, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I think i probably have this 'mortons toe' that people are talking about, though it has never caused any pain and i dont have any callous under my second toes.
    It is actually quite difficult to feel my 'knuckles' but it seems pretty clear that my big toe knuckles take a step down, and my second toes are slightly longer than the big toes. (I also have ring fingers longer than my index fingers which I think I read may be connected.)
    Frustratingly, I have never had a problem with this until I started bare footing a month or so back to try and rehabilitate a slight bunion on my right foot. The bunion was due to wearing shoes I now realise were too small and narrow, not to the mortons toe as far as I know.
    However, have done a very very very small amount of barefoot and minimal shod running the last two weeks (never more than a minute at a time interspersed with walking, repeated 6-8 times) I am now experiencing a pain in the ball of my left foot especially when I walk on my kitchen vinyl floor barefoot. Particularly if I spin or twist on the ball of that foot. It feels different from the various stiffness discomforts that I was expecting from using my feet so differently. It is a sort of sudden pain - not awful but feeling like something that shouldn't happen. Note that this is not the bunion foot, which seems fine; it is the other one.
    I am feeling very frustrated by this and wondering if I am being silly to start running, but I have really enjoyed the little I have been doing.
     

  2. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I'm really worried here; despite not running it is getting worse and I can feel the pain if I squeeze that point on my foot. It seems to happen less when I wear the Correct Toes toe spreader but doesn't go away. Half of me is feeling , duh, surely it's obvious that you need shoes and this barefoot thing is only for the special people with special normal feet and now you've given yourself some awful neuroma or something by being so silly.
     

  3. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I'm feeling very disappointed and let down that no-one has replied here. What it feels like is that the BF running community don't want to notice that some people are apparently not 'born to run' after all. I had never even heard of Mortons toe until I came here. In 57 years, it has never impinged on my existence in any way that I know of unless it was a factor in a very mild bunion. After 4 very short careful barefoot runs, days apart, none of which caused me pain at the time, I now can't walk without stabbing pains and all the reading I have been doing suggests I may have let myself in for a permanently crippling condition. frankly I am scared and I have no idea what to do about it.
     

  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Sorry none of the docs have replied here yet. I will contact them and ask them to respond soon. They will be honest with you, and that will have nothing to do with whether they prefer barefooting over shod living or not. Remember, I asked you to post here, and if I can be open, the president of the BRS, they will too.

    I will go against the rule and post here, since the docs haven't responded, and you are obviously, and rightfully, feeling frustrated.


    My thoughts on this... It's possible that you are experiencing a stress fracture developing. If you need support to stabilize it, then do that. If barefooting isn't working for you, then don't do it.

    As far as being "born to run barefoot" though, I also believe that since you've led a shod lifestyle for most of your 57 years, you have allowed your feet to become dependent on shoes and therefore atrophied every part of your feet and ankles. Think about keeping your arm in a cast for 57 years. Now don't you think that perhaps it's the cast that's the problem with your condition and not allowing your arm to be free? Well, its the same with your shoes and your feet. You can't say you are not born to run barefoot when you've been living shod for your entire lifetime. That's just not a fair statement.

    It's no wonder, with our modern shod lifestyle, some people can't run barefoot from the start. That's why I recommend people (and you) strengthen your feet first before changing to barefoot walking, running, and living. Dr. James Stoxen, Team Doctors, has a lot of really good videos on his site that will help you to strengthen your feet, and even if you don't want to continue with your barefoot transition, I highly recommend you strengthen your feet...outside of shoes...anyway.

    Good luck to you.
     
  5. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    Thanks, TJ, I appreciate that .
     

  6. Dr Emily Splichal

    Dr Emily Splichal Barefooters

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    Hi Spinningwoman -

    My sincerest apologies for a Doc to get back to you on your question / concern.

    In my opinion morton's toe / foot is a highly over-rated condition that people assume has to symptomatic. It definately be the cause of sub met pain - or pain in the ball of the foot under that joint) - but again does not have to. It typically becomes more of an issue when the 2nd toe becomes contracted or hammered as this causes a retrograde pressure to the ball of the foot.

    Bunions can definately cause transfer pressure to the 2nd toe joint which can further exacerbate a morton's toe that is symptomatic - but in the way you are describing your pain and symptoms to me it sounds more like a stress fracture. If you have a Podiatrist or are able to get a foot xray I would do so.

    Remember that stress fractures often do not show up on Xray for at least 2 weeks, so it is typically a clinical diagnosis - or in some cases the Doctor may order an MRI.

    Treatment is immobilization with a surgical or stiff-bottomed shoe - and sometimes a bone stimulator.

    I hope this helps! And again my apologies for the delay in getting an answer to your question!
     
  7. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    Thanks, I really appreciate the reply. Today I didn't seem to have the pain when I went barefoot or in my Vivobarefoot Kali shoes, for the first time since it developed. it has been OK in the VFFs all along.
    I hope it isn't a stress fracture, as it didn't hurt when I was running, and I can hop on that foot without pain. It isn't the same foot as the slight bunion. I've never had any trouble with that foot before.
    I'm glad to hear that the Mortons toe thing is not necessarily a problem, as I have been fine with not even knowing it existed this far in my shod life, so it was a major downer to think that it was going to cause major problems once barefoot. I think I'd rather wear shoes than have to stick lumps of felt to my feet!
     

  8. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    ok now that a doc has answered others can chime in. you posted this in ask the docs. that's why no one posted.

    going bf is good because your skin will hopefully tell you when to stop. people think they don't have tough enough skin to go bf but that's only part of it. you don't have strong enough bones either. you likely did too much and just needed some rest. rest is probably more important than the exercise you get. it's all about balance. good luck and be patient.
     

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  9. Dr James Stoxen DC

    Dr James Stoxen DC Barefooters
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    Hi Im coming in late but here is an article I wrote about Mortons Neuroma I have included some stretches and pressure points that could help you get relief. Here is a video of a stretch of your foot.



    I have had a lot of great luck with this one and anyone can do it.

    Here is a pressure point treatment you may find helpful

     
  10. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    Thanks, the pain went away after a week or so of rolling and not running and wearing mostly VFFs as they seemed to be the only thing that didn't hurt. Then I started again much slower with jumping rope and just running a few yards in the garden which I think has improved my form. It doesn't seem to have come back, though I thought I caught the beginnings of a twinge the other day when I ran a very short run two days in a row.
    I've stopped running in the NB minimus and VFFs altogether as they do affect my form. Just BF and a little with xero sandals which seem to be OK.
     

    Barefoot TJ likes this.

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