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any thoughts on arthritis of the big toe? (hallux rigidus)

J in Sacramento
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any thoughts on arthritis of the big toe? (hallux rigidus)
Hi Esther, I enjoyed a class recently. Any thoughts on arthritis of the big toe (hallux rigidus)? -J
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10/24/2014 - 11:05am

Hello,

My name is Kerri and I'm a Gokhale Method teacher who was trained personally by Esther. To answer your question, arthritis can be caused by a number of reasons. One cause is we often put too much weight too far forward on our feet while standing and walking. In our modern society, it's common for people to have tucked pelvises which shifts the weight forward as I previously described. The smaller bones of the foot aren't meant for so much weight bearing. Certain foot conditions may arise like plantar fasciitis, Mortons neuroma, sesamoid bone fracture and also arthritis. In our foundations course, we teach students to start by exploring what it feels like to toggle the hips back and forth and see how the weight moves to different parts of the foot. Then try to keep the weight more on the heels. I hope this helps! 

Warmly

Kerri

susanlwyatt
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Hello Kerri,

This is my first time posting to the forum. I hope this is the proper place to ask this question?! 

I was diagnosed with a bone spur on my right front big toe (two weeks ago).  When I asked the podiatrist if he had any recommendations for me with regards to foot positioning or something I could put under my toe in my shoe for example, he said he no.  When I asked him the cause he said he had never seen anything like it in his 15 years of practice before therefore he could not tell me why. I think it is because I had been putting too much weight on my toes.I had been standing at my desk, swaying my back up against the desk and standing on toes, also I stand on toes a lot barefoot in the kitchen when reaching up to get things on high shelves.  

I took a pop up course in Austin last month (with Esther and Monisha) and am working on tall standing and hoping that by shifting my weight to my heels I will experience less pain and maybe even see a reduction in the bone spur over time.  He did take x rays so we have a baseline.

When I was practicing glidewalking I think I over exaggerated the use of my front toe (when thinking about wiping my feet on a door mat - one suggesting on one of the videos) and caused lots of pain in the big toe, so I am trying to only focus on keeping my heels down at the moment.

Do you have any other suggestions perhaps of things I should or shouldn't be doing?

Thank you,

 

Susan

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Hi Susan,

Thank you for posting your foot question and yes, this is the correct place! It sounds like you're on the right track in discovering the reason for your bone spur. Positioning your weight too far forward on the small bones of your feet in walking and standing can cause a bone spur as the body tries to protect itself by depositing calcium deposits where there is too much pressure on the foot. You have a great start as you took a pop up course already and tall standing is a good place to focus, especially with kidney bean shaping the feet and putting your weight more on the heels in standing and walking. I highly recommend getting the book,"8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" if you don't already as it is a great resource for review and has additional options to explore. I also recommend strengthening all 3 arches of the foot which Esther has provided some exercises in the back of the book in Apendix 1. You did mention using your toe too much in glidewalking and I would agree to back off on that and just focus on pushing off with the heel until your foot pain has calmed and you've acquired more foot strength. I personally roll the bottom of my feet with a half size tennis ball or the like. In modern society, not only are our feet often weak but they are often stiff and inflexible. Rolling the feet can help mobilize the fascia, which can help to shape them more like a kidney bean and strengthen as well. When you kidney bean the feet, the weight is distributed more on the outside of the foot, taking pressure off the big toes. If you have a chance to take the Foundations course, which is a more comprehensive approach to learning improved posture, I recommend that as well. I hope this helps!

Warmly.

Kerri

susanlwyatt
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Hello Kerri,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I forgot about the forum.  Esther just mentioned it during the chat after the 21 Day Challenge so I decided to check to see if anybody responded. 

The kidney bean shape and foot exercises are definitely something I need to review.  Yes I have the book and thank you for reminding me of and referring me to specific exercises in the book.

Where do you buy half sized tennis balls? In the sports/children game sections of stores? And should they be semi- flexible like a tennis ball or is it okay if they are hard like a golf ball?

I will check back in a couple of days to see if you respond!smiley

I can't wait to take the Foundations Course.

Gratefully, 

 

Susan

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10/24/2014 - 11:05am

Hi Susan,

You can find the tennis balls at pets stores and I've found half and quarter size balls at Fred Meyer in the pet section. Softer balls are better than a golf ball. You want something that has some give otherwise it can be very painful! I recommend rolling your feet first when sitting so you can control your weight better. I like to roll first thing in the morning when I first get up. My hamstrings instantly feel longer just by rolling the feet! Try it. Let me know if you have further question.

 

Kerri

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