Morton’s Foot – a Common Problem

March 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

Morton’s Foot, often called Morton’s Toe, is a common problem in which the second toe (next to the big toe) is longer than the big toe. In the 1930s, podiatrist Dr. Dudley Morton discovered that many people had a short first metatarsal bone. He concluded that this condition impacted their gait, causing their foot to hyperpronate-a dysfunction of the foot causing your ankles to roll in when you stand, walk, and run. Estimates for Morton’s Toe range from 15% of the population to as high as 50-60%.

Morton's FootThe photo here shows an especially elongated second toe. In fact the second and third toes are longer.

The first metatarsal (of the big toe) is shorter than normal, and this makes the second toe appear longer than it actually is. This is usually a hereditary condition. Morton’s foot usually leads to excessive pressure on the 2nd metatarsal head (behind the second toe at the ball-of-the-foot). The constant pressure placed on the longer second toe while walking or standing can lead to callus formation under the second metatarsal head due to this excessive pressure. The repeated pressure of the longer second toe against the front of the shoe or boot may traumatize the nail. If a hematoma develops under the nail, the nail will change color and may fall off. Because of the excessive pressure on the second metatarsal head in the forefoot, Morton’s Toe is often associated with metatarsalgia.

Treating Morton’s Foot

Morton’s Toe makes buying shoes harder. It is important to fit shoes to this longest toe. Your toes need space and breathing room and your longer toe is no exception. In addition, make sure you trim your nails and file them smooth. Good toenail care, especially of this long toe, will prevent the nail from hitting on the front of the shoe-jamming the nail back into the nailbed. If you are bothered by toe pain, gel caps could help. These are a gel substance that covers the toe and many are reusable.

To get a good fit, look for shoes with a high and wide toebox. It may be necessary to use a shoe a half size to a size larger than normal in order to have space for the longer first toe. Use a nonslippery insole to keep the foot from sliding forward. The use of orthotics can align the foot by providing arch support. A metatarsal pad under the metatarsal heads of the forefoot can relieve pressure on the second metatarsal head. (A good source of metatarsal pads is Hapad)  Some runners will cut a slit over or on either side of the toe to relieve pressure. Another option is to cut out a small piece of the toebox over the toe. Orthotics may also provide relief. Surgery is usually a last resort.

Take a Good Look at Your Feet

March 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

Let’s confess. You get out of the shower and pull on your socks or nylons and  shoes. Right? You don’t even really glance at your feet.

Self-check of your feet

Self-check of your feet

Unfortunately, that split second, usually an automatic action, causes us to miss things our feet are trying to tell us. So, let’s slow down and see what we might have missed.

Start with the toes. Use your fingers to spread them apart and make sure they are dry and there are no signs of athlete’s foot. Look for calluses on the side or bottom of the toes.

Now the toenails. Check for nails that need a trim or filing, signs of ingrown toenails and toenail fungus.

Move on down to the bottoms of your feet.  Check for any unusual bumps that might be plantar warts.

Now around to the heels. Look for cracks in the skin, scaly skin or calluses that indicate dryness and the need for a moisturizer.

Finally, move around to the sides of the foot. Check for calluses that could be reduced.

This quick check can take only a few seconds but can prevent problems later. Learn to use your fingers and hands to gauge the health of your feet.

Feet, Feet, Everywhere Feet

March 7, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Health 

Feet, Feet, Everywhere Feet. Sometimes you have to just post a quick fun thing. I spent the past four days at the Florida Christian Writers Conference near Orlando. I was on the faculty and taught seven sessions. When I go to these conferences, I always talk about how Fixing Your Feet has done as a nonfiction book.

Even though I teach on a variety of writing topics, I am known as ‘the foot guy.’ At several workshops, conferees asked asked me questions about their feet. Arch pain, forefoot pain, plantar fasciitis, and more. This offers me the opportunity to share a bit of my knowledge with folks that might not otherwise read my book.

I tell them that everywhere I go, I watch feet. I notice feet. Barefeet, feet in flip-flops, sandals, shoes that look comfortable, and shoes that look very uncomfortable. I wonder why people don’t use more common sense in picking their footwear?

Now I am sitting in the Orlando airport, working on my laptop with four hours to kill – and noticing feet. Too many bare feet. Way too many old flip-flops that should have been tossed out months ago. Uggs and other styles that make your feet sweat. And just plain ugly shoes too.

When you travel, why not wear comfortable shoes? More to the point, why not footwear that is good for your feet? If you must wear flip-flops or sandals, how about making sure your toenails are clean and trimmer. Getting rid of your calluses will also help them look more attractive.

Fixing Your Feet Wish List?

March 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books, Foot Care, Health 
What would you change in Fixing Your Feet?

What would you change in Fixing Your Feet?

I am starting the work of creating a 5th edition of Fixing Your Feet and need your help. This is not an overnight project, in fact, it is a long and drawn out process. First, I make changes, deletions and additions to the 4th edition manuscript. Then it goes to the editor for the first of at least two edits. The first edit is general in nature. Then I work on their suggested edits and send it back. Then it goes through a copy edit, after which, I have another go at what they are suggesting. Then it goes to a designed for layout and formatting. That is sent to me for a final review. A new cover is designed; an index created; and the back cover copy is written. This can take nine months to a year. So we could see the 5th edition in early 2011.

So my question is, what would you like to see added? Something I have not covered or not to the depth you’d like? How about material that you think could be deleted? Something written easier to understand? How about new products that I have missed or even links?

This is your opportunity to have input to shape the 5th edition of Fixing Your Feet. You, the readers, have made this book popular. Those who know me, know who I want to help you manage your foot care – as best I can.

I will keep all the emails I receive and as I work on the new edition, I will draw several names to receive a free copy of the 5th edition.

Either send me an email or use the comment feature of this blog. This is your chance, your wish list, of what you would like to see in the next edition. What would you like to see?

Thanks for your help.

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