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'Morton's foot' and trigger point therapy

pennynz's picture
Last seen:
8 years 7 months ago
05/10/2009 - 6:26pm
'Morton's foot' and trigger point therapy
Hi Esther, I have a query about 'Morton's foot'. I came across a description in Clair Davies trigger point therapy workbook, where the first metatarsal bone is shorter than the second so the distribution of weight on landing and push off is wrong. It is apparently quite common, and would explain the sensation of feeling unsteady on my feet and many of the distortions (like a shortened leg, scoliosis and muscle pain) that I have been experiencing. They say it is congenital(can't be rectified) but can be helped by wearing a pad under the first metatarsal, thus providing a flat platform for the ball of the foot. Have you come across it?  I would love to think that it is more a matter of correcting the posture rather than propping up a misaligned foot (like a lumbar support for the back?). Also appreciate your view on trigger point therapy, as it seems to relate to muscle contractions and pain. Is it a useful way to help free up tense and shortened muscles? I don't want to put more pressure on a sensitive muscle/nerve system, but the trigger points feel extremely sore. I appreciate your time, and hope you have a good Christmas! thanks  Penny
Last seen:
36 sec ago
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
It's true that Morton's foot or Morton's toe (different from Morton's neuroma and named after another Morton) does predispose you to a variety of foot and therefore back problems. But it doesn't oblige you to have problems. Just like many people are genetically predisposed to have back problems (loose ligaments, etc.) but by having good posture they can avoid having any problems. Depending on how much shorter your first toe is than your second and what extra challenges you are putting your feet through (hopefully not dancing on point?!), I would consider going to a specialist and having a toe pad (foam + felt - there is a nice description here: http://www.thebodyseries.com/newsletters/2004/04/04_30_2004.html) made. Most importantly, learn how to kidney bean shape your feet, leave the weight on your back heel a long time in your stride and examine whether a healthful pushoff using your toes is possible (most people in modern societies don't push off with their toes at all - this alone does not oblige you to have scoliosis, etc and is one reasonable option for you - it all depends on how extreme your situation is).

I like trigger point therapy as a palliative measure, but it isn't going to get to the root of your problem.

Yes, Morton's foot, also called Greek foot, is quite common - some people estimate a 50% incidence. Janet Travell, whose work Claire Davies' work is based on, made a big deal of it. I have seen many, many people navigate toe length discrepancies just fine. The much more important problems that show up such predispositions as problems are with people's form. The good news is that these are very correctable with the right guidelines.

Merry Christmas!
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