Millions of people suffer from chronic pain in their backs, hips, legs and feet. Many undergo expensive tests to try to figure out what the problem is. However, before you start racking up medical debt, here’s a tip we got from the Bottom Line Personal. Look at your toes. If the second toe is even slightly longer than the big toe, you might have Morton’s toe. It’s a condition that disrupts normal body alignment; it can cause a lot of pain, and 15% of us have it!
Dr. Burton Schuler is a podiatrist and author of Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot. He says that as many as 80% of all cases of musculoskeletal pain are the result of Morton’s toe. Here’s why: When we walk and our feet push off from the ground, the big toe typically touches before the other toes. This means that for a fraction of a second, it absorbs virtually all of the body’s weight. In people with Morton’s toe, the big toe is abnormally short, so the longer, and weaker second toe touches the ground first and absorbs the body’s weight. Unfortunately, the bone in that toe isn’t strong enough for this. So to compensate, the foot rolls in the direction of the big toe – gradually knocking your body out of alignment, damaging joints and causing pain.
Luckily, Dr. Schuler says there’s a simple, inexpensive remedy for Morton’s toe - a toe pad! You put it under your big toe, which then causes it to touch the ground first. He says you might feel more pain at first, since you’re changing the alignment of your body, but that should go away quickly. Just buy a package of inexpensive foam shoe inserts and cut out a rectangle about the size of a stick of gum. Put it lengthwise in your shoe so it supports both your big toe and the ball of your foot directly behind it. That’s it! You should talk to you doctor first, but chances are, this simple remedy will help get rid of your chronic pain.