Friday, March 19, 2010

Morton's Foot

Dr. Dudley Morton practiced in the 1930's, first describing a number of foot ailments including Morton's foot (aka Morton's toe), and Morton's neuroma. Morton's foot is a common but dysfunctional variant of foot structure occurring in more than 25% of the population. By the time one hits middle-age, however, the instability caused by this condition can lead to pain and an inability to walk pain-free into the golden years.

Check out the sketch below from The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook for a look at Morton's Foot which is also known as short first metatarsal syndrome. The metatarsals are the longish bones beneath each toe, and the first metatarsal meets up with the big toe at a most critical juncture known as the 1st MTP (metatarsal phalangeal) joint which should be one of the primary weight-bearing areas of your foot.

If you've been issued a stumpy first metatarsal (arrow B), your weight is transferred to the 2nd MTP joint (arrow A) beneath your 2nd toe (arrow C). As a result, your weight can wobble inward towards the arch or outwards towards the little toe which has been likened to 'walking on ice skates'. The 2nd toe may extend beyond the big toe in persons with this Morton's business; while some call this long 2nd toe a sign of nobility. In my experience, it's a sign that you may give up walking for exercise.

Then look out, it's like a veritable aging house of cards cascading down your midline. The arches fall, a bunion may pop out, the ankles hyperpronate (see below), your calf muscles start working overtime to hold up your body,your knees knock together in the midline causing arthritis and collapse of your lateral knee joint,

you start to hate walking, gain weight, and plummet into old age way before your time.

So if that info knocked your socks off, check yourself for Morton's foot thusly:By pulling your toes downwards, you'll be able to see the locations where the metatarsals end and Morton's mayhem begins.

Got Morton's? I do. Custom-made orthotics and Pilates have changed my life. If you've been short-changed on your first metatarsal and are starting to hobble with pain, a trip to the podiatrist is definitely worthwhile. For more information, check out


kenju said...

I don't think I have that problem, but my husband definitely has pronation. Sometimes I wonder how he can walk; his feet lay in toward the center so badly.

G. Out said...

I was so happy in was so nice to step out of bed in the morning without sore feet or having aching fingers for a change. For the most part my fingers and toes are still 95% painless, but I can tell they are more swollen and stiff.