Updated: Aug 18, 2021
You probably don’t give much thought to your feet until they start to hurt. Although I’m a reflexologist, and the basis of my work is working the “reflex” points in the feet, I couldn’t help seeing patterns in people’s foot problems over the years. And, over those years, I continued to research causes and conditions as I worked deeply into those aching soft-tissues of the feet and lower legs – working out both reflexology points and rigid foot structures.
Then I came across something that truly changed everything… a simple little deviation in one foot bone that causes a whole cascade of issues up into the body. It’s called Morton’s Foot.
Morton’s foot (also known as Morton’s Toe, Greek Foot and many other names) is a condition where the second long bone of your forefoot (your 2nd metatarsal) is longer than your first metatarsal (the long foot bone that attaches to your big toe bones). At least 25% of people have this foot condition.
Common sense and science tells us that you need a solid foundation to support a solid house. In this case, our foundation is our feet. Now imagine, your foundation that would normally be stabilized with a solid 3-point, tripod base (the ball under your big toe, little toe and heel), is now wobbling on a linear, 2-point base (the ball under your 2nd toe and your heel). Wobble, wobble. Feel that? It’s like walking around on ice-skates. Not too stable is it?
According to The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook and the people at MortonsFoot.com, problems in the body from this seemingly benign bone deviation are:
Pronation (Fallen Arches)
Supination (over correction for fallen arches)
Leg Cramps and Fatigue
Internally Rotated Legs (Knock-knee)
Tight IT bands
SI Joint Pain
Low Back Pain
Reduced lung capacity, shallow breathing, anxiety
Mental Fatigue, Pain and Depression
Take a breath, that is an exhaustive list. Are you seeing the impact of this first metatarsal bone being a wee-bit short? Ready for some good news? It’s GREAT in fact. There is a simple, easy and inexpensive solution to this metatarsal mess. But before we go into the solution, let’s check to see if you actually have this foot structure.
If you want to find out if you have Morton’s foot, you can’t rely on seeing if your second toe is longer than the first. It’s about the metatarsal heads, not toe length (although, having a second long toe does usually tag along). Look for these characteristics. First and foremost, with bare feet, bend your toes downward (while pushing on the balls of your feet from the bottom to make them pop up). From the top of your foot, see which metatarsal head (knuckles of the feet) is closer to the toes… if your second one is higher, you have Morton’s Foot.
There are a few other ways to check. Look at the web between your first and second toes, then the web between your second and third toes. If the first web is lower, good chance you have Morton’s Foot.
To continue to confirm this foot condition, notice if there are calluses on the sides of the big toe, under the second metatarsal head (plantar/bottom side of foot), on the side of the first and/or fifth metatarsal heads (inner and outer sides of your feet). These are also signs of good ol’ Morton’s Foot.
It is pretty much a no-win situation for a stable foundation. Fallen arches, overused (and mis-used) muscles and a foundation fallen off kilter… it’s an avalanche of postural structure. And the result is usually a lack of efficient mobility and pain.
If you find you do have Morton’s Foot, here’s the good news!
The solution to Morton’s Foot is to create the tripod of solid support back into your feet by adding a little lift under the head of your first metatarsal, that’s the ball under your big toe. For a quick, easy and do-it-today solution, courtesy of Clair Davis in The Trigger Point Therapy Manual, go out and get something like Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam Padding. Cut it into a quarter or half-dollar size oval and stick it right onto your insoles of your shoes (or newly purchased insoles). Make sure it is placed directly where the ball under your first toe only will step, being sure not to overlap under the 2nd metatarsal head. And…Voila!
The more comprehensive, and worth every cent, solution is to head on over to the good folks at Mortonsfoot.com. There they have every type of insole you can imagine to correct this condition in any type of foot wear, including sandals and yeah, even bare feet!