Do you have a long 2nd toe?

If your second toe is longer than your big toe it's called Morton's toe. This can cause foot problems and throw the body's balance off-kilter, causing back and knee pain, walking problems and putting stress on muscles that then can compound problems all over the body.  
Morton’s Foot, or more commonly known as Morton’s Toe or Greek Foot, is a type of foot structure that’s common to about 20% of the Earth’s population, and easily recognizable by just looking at your toes.  Bend the toes down to see if the joint on the second toe is longer than the first one.
 You have Morton's Toe if the metatarsal bones in the big toe and the second toe next to it are the same length, the second toe will be longer than the big toe, as shown in the photo.

The main symptom experienced due to Morton's toe is discomfort and callusing of the ball of the foot at the base of the second toe. This is because the big toe would normally bear the majority of a person's body weight while walking, but because the second toe bone is further forward, the force is transferred there. Instead of having a traditional tripod weight distribution layout with your feet between the ball, the place behind the fifth toe, and the heel; When people with Morton’s Toe are walking they have all their weight placed on the heel and behind the second toe. Because the foot tilts side-to-side and the foot rotates outward to try and compensate, this is like walking on ice skates.  Many people have leg and back pain related to Morton's Toe.


Here's a quote from toeclinic.com, "Have you looked at your feet? Do you have Morton’s Toe? Could there be a link between symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Restless Leg Syndrome, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain, Hip Pain, Low Back Pain, Tingling Leg or Legs, Sciatica, Plantar Fasciitis, TMJ, Sensitive Teeth… and  your feet?

Every person I know who has had a knee or hip replacement has Morton’s Toe. Coincidence? Maybe."

For more information read the book, Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot by Dr. Burton Schuler for simple solutions that can help alleviate foot and body pain (plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia).  There are some great reviews on Amazon.   
Here's a video describing Morton's Toe.

Here's a website with descriptions of how it affects posture and alignment and how you can use a simple pad to shim your toe to get relief.


From www.toeclinic.com: The simplest and most cost effective way to deal with Morton’s toe is to place a shim under the head of the first metatarsal, (ball of the foot). The shim needs to cover the green area in the photo.
The most convenient shim material I have found is the felt pads used under furniture on hardwood floors. They have a self-adhesive back so are very easy to glue into place. Home Depot sells ““Surface Gard 4-1/4” x 6” Medium Duty pads for under $4.00. I have also cut and layered shims using a throw away inner tube (which can often be found for free at tire repair centers) glued together with rubber cement. I have also used Dr. Scholls “MoleFoam” (not MoleSkin).
If your shoes have a removable insole, stick the shims underneath the insole at the “dimple” made by the ball of your foot.  Make sure the pad does not extend into the area of the second metatarsal.  If your shoes do not have a removable insert, then glue the shim on top of the insole at the same “ball of the foot” dimple.
People frequently have pain and a callus under the head of the second metatarsal because it is sticking down more than the others. A soft pad is often prescribed to be placed over the callus. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. The 2ndmetatarsal head already sticks down too much. This extra pad, in exactly the wrong place, will usually make your chronic pain and foot pain worse.

There's a great blog post about Morton's Toe and how he fixed it here: 

How to Change Your Life for 75¢





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