Dr. Burton Schuler of Panama City, Florida, argues that often plantar fasciitis treatments fail because one major cause of the condition is frequently overlooked: a short first metatarsal bone (big toe), also called Morton’s Toe. Dr. Schuler wrote a book about Morton’s Toe titled, Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, that explains how a short big toe and longer second toe can cause a range of physical ailments, including plantar fasciitis.
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Schuler and others who subscribe to the Morton’s Toe theory prescribe a very simple plantar fasciitis treatment: A toe pad that acts as a shim under the foot and help the big toe meet the ground sooner. The result is a more stable step that takes the pressure off of the compensating muscles, joints, and tissues.
Schuler explains the treatment in his book, and bottomlinesecrets.com describes the toe pad creation this way:
Buy a package of inexpensive foam shoe inserts. I have found that Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam is a good product for making a toe pad (one pack provides six to eight toe pads). Just about any product will work — even no-name brands available at most pharmacies and discount stores, usually for less than $2.
Cut out a rectangle about one-inch wide and two-and-a-half inches long. That’s about the size of a stick of chewing gum or a Band-Aid. Put it over the first metatarsal head, the bulge on the bottom of the foot that is below the point where the big toe joins the foot. Position the pad so that the longer dimension runs lengthwise with the foot. If the insole doesn’t have an adhesive backing, tape it to the foot with duct tape, electrical tape or even Scotch tape. It does not have to look pretty.
You can take the toe pad off at night and put it back on the foot in the morning. One toe pad usually lasts two to four days.
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