|Toe pain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Now that sandal and flip-flop season is winding down, I’ve seen an increased amount of patients complaining of this pain. I believe it is due to the long-term use of sandals and flip-flops, especially those not adequately supporting the feet. This lack of support caused the joints to not bend where they are supposed to bend. This causes increased forces on other areas of the foot that can’t take such increased pressure. Many of these patients complain of swelling and extreme pain when walking or standing. The condition is referred to as 2ndMPJ Syndrome, also known as metatarsalga or capsulitis.
When wearing unsupportive footgear the foot abnormally transfers weight from the big toe joint area to the 2nd toe joint area. This 2nd toe joint area or the MPJ (metatarsal phalangea joint) is not strong enough to withstand these additional forces. In addition, the bones of this area are not as big as the big toe joint area. The repeatedly applied increased pressure to this area may cause the soft tissue to break down, as it is being crushed from excess pressure and strained from increased pull. It can even lead to tearing of the ligaments and joint capsule. The underlying bone can even minutely fracture (a stress fracture). The overall result is severe pain and swelling that can take some time to resolve if not adequately addressed.
After diagnosing the condition, ruling out fractures and other potential causes, the area will usually heal if the cause of the problem is addressed. This targeted treatment, along with some physical therapy at home, taping and strappings, etc. can usually prevent the need for surgical correction.
In many cases obtaining a functional foot orthotic with the ideal fit and featured shoe gear will enhance the healing time. It is imperative that this orthotic is allowing the big toe joint to bend appropriately to avoid the transfer of pressure to the 2nd MPJ. An over-the-counter insert is not sufficient. Getting the ideal functioning orthotic will not only address the cause but it will also allow a more natural healing approach.
Stop into ArchMasters Orthotics,Shoes & Foot care or call 615-370-3000 today and schedule your complimentary consult with Dr. Sables.
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