Hallux rigidus, foot pain, and the rest of your body. What you need to know to relieve this frustrating problem.

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If you have back pain, knee pain, and foot pain, you may have been told you have hallux rigidus which is a form of degenerative arthritis. Wikipedia offers a classical definition of  degenerative arthritis and stiffness due to bone spurs that affect the MTP joint at the base of the hallux (big toe). The typical approach to care includes prescription foot orthotics, shoe modifications (such as a pad under the joint, and/or a deeper toebox[4]to take the pressure off the toe and/or facilitate walking), specialized footwear ('rocker-sole' shoes), medications (anti-inflammatory drugs) or injection therapy (corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and pain).

Is this the best approach to improve or resolve the condition, or are we just treating the symptom?

After treating thousands of people with various gait problems that result in toe, ankle, knee back, and even neck pain, a more holistic approach is more appropriate.  Part of the problem is the specialist for everything model that most people consider when looking for relief.   For foot pain, see a podiatrist, for back pain, see a chiropractor, for knee pain or shoulder pain, see an orthopedic.   Well, you get the picture.   Our current model is basically dinosaur thinking, expensive, inefficient, and often ineffective. Using this approach for most musculoskeletal conditions, you are likely to experience expensive diagnostics and treatment that doesn't work. The body is an integrated mechanism and the way we move is holistic, meaning, one part affects another and another. Shouldn't your healthcare provider use an integrated approach? Movement and motion are like a slinky.   Now imagine if we took the slinky and prevented part of it from moving.   As you will see, it does not move well and in the case of hallux rigidus, not moving well for years will cause the first toe to degenerate, affect the way you walk, and cause symptoms such as the knee, hip, lower back, and even neck pain. If you want a better solution, find a healthcare practitioner that is holistic in their thinking, uses methods that improve the way you move, and takes a holistic approach to a holistic movement problem.

Who should you see first for toe pain.

The mechanism behind hallux rigidus initially affects the way you impact the ground and then causes limitations of ankle joint movement.   Secondary effects will be a shortening of the fibers of the hallicus longus and tibialis posterior fascias.   When these tissues tighten, the first toe gets stiffer and when combined with shortened soft tissues surrounding the ankle, the result is foot and toe pain and long-term, hallux rigidus.  These tissues also will cause medial knee pain since they insert into the medial posterior part of the knee. Solving a toe or foot impact problem requires looking at people, not just their parts.  Chiropractors are primary care for the musculoskeletal system and are trained to diagnose and treat holistically. A chiropractor will take a full history, examine you from the feet up and look to understand the mechanism behind why you hurt. To resolve a problem such as hallux rigidus, they may use foot orthotics, manipulation to restore movement to the area, soft tissue treatment such as myofascial release or Graston technique, exercises to strengthen the region, and education so you can better understand why you hurt. You may visit with a number of different complaints and find out they are all related.  One practitioner can be your one-stop-shop for everything that hurts while treating the problem safely, affordably, and effectively without resorting to injections, or invasive surgeries. Who should you call first for toe pain from hallux rigidus, knee pain, and back pain?  All roads led to the chiropractor..  Request your first appointment using this link.