Heel pain causes: Is Morton’s Toe overlooked when doctors diagnose plantar fasciitis?

June 22, 2012 at 12:00 am in Health & Fitness by VN Editors

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot. The inflammation of the plantar fascia — the fibrous, thick cord-like tissue that originates off the heel bone and fans out to attach to the surfaces of the foot bones — is one of the most common heel pain causes that creates extreme discomfort, especially first thing in the morning.

First round plantar fasciitis treatment includes:

However, when traditional plantar fasciitis treatments fail, patients have to move on to more extreme tactics, like corticosteroid injections or even surgery.

One podiatrist, Dr. Burton Schuler of Panama City, Florida, argues that often plantar fasciitis treatments fail because one major heel pain cause is frequently overlooked: a short first metatarsal bone, also called Morton’s Toe. (Schuler wrote a book on the subject titled, Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, which details how a short first metatarsal bone can cause a range of physical ailments.)

How Morton’s Toe contributes to plantar fasciitis, heel pain

As we walk, our feet push off the ground. The big toe is usually the first one down, and for a fraction of a second it bears the brunt of the entire body’s weight. As the foot rolls forward, some of the pressure is shifted to the remaining toes.

For those with Morton’s toe, the big toe is shorter than the second toe, which ends up touching the ground first and must absorb most of the body’s weight. This second toe’s metatarsal bone isn’t strong enough for that amount of pressure, so the foot overpronates — rolls in the direction of the big toe — to support the excess weight.

This action makes the foot unstable and prevents the big toe from doing its job to push your weight upward. The overpronation of the foot has a domino effect on the body, making other muscles and joints compensate for the instability.

The plantar fascia is just one area of the body that must help out, and the resulting stress and damage can lead to the heel and foot pain normally associated with plantar fasciitis.

Do you need foot pain relief right now? Discover some simple, effective and affordable plantar fasciitis treatments for foot pain relief in our free report: 5 Quick Fixes for Immediate Foot Pain Relief.