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For our purposes, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand, “Morton’s Toe” will mean having either one or both of two abnormal, inherited conditions of the first metatarsal bone of the foot  (see below). Morton’s Toe, can be caused by one or both of two problems that can affect the first metatarsal bone. The photograph at the top of the page show a classic Morton’s Toe caused by a short first metatarsal bone. Another way to check to see if you have a short first metatarsal bone is to hold your first and second toes down. Sometimes it is not necessary to draw a line on top of the foot because the relationship of the metatarsal heads can easily be seen.
Frequently, people with short first metatarsal bones will also have a “webbing” between their second and third toes.
In a 1928 paper in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, and in Chapter 23 of his book The Human Foot,  Dr. Hypermobility of the First Metatarsal Bone may not be as famous as its “partner in pain,” the short first metatarsal bone, but in Morton’s own words “is responsible for the widest range of foot problems”.
Morton  recognized that besides having either a short first metatarsal bone or hypermobility of that bone, there were many other actions, stresses, strains, and forces that affected the way your foot works and that can cause and contribute to foot problems. Morton’s Toe cannot only cause foot problems but as you will see, it can cause pains all over your body. The most common foot care problem causes by a Morton’s Toe is due to excessive pressure under the second metatarsal head cause by the short first metatarsal bone. For several years, many of the patients I was treating for their foot problems due to Morton’s Toe were repeatedly telling me how much better they were feeling in other places on their bodies.
It was not until about the time I finished my certification to become a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management that I realized what my patients had been trying to tell me for years; a Morton’s Toe could also cause chronic pain almost anywhere in the body! It is very possible that because you have a Morton’s Toe, you have been suffering for years with an undiagnosed Myofascial Pain Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. Normal Pronation is a series of motions the foot must have, so that it can absorb the shock of meeting the ground.
Over or Abnormal Pronation: As I stated above, this occurs when the foot is still pronating when it shouldn’t be. This compensation puts the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other structures under a tremendous amount of abnormal stress and strain not only of the foot but of the whole body.
It is this instability that that hinders proper weight bearing that starts the chain of events, thru compensation, that ends in you numerous aches and pains not only of your foot but also thru out your body. A Morton’s Toe will result in a lack of proper stabilization of the foot when it is needed.
Most people who inherit the tendency to have foot problems don’t have these problems until they reach middle age. In the first half of the twentieth century, the most famous doctor in the United States, regarding problems of the human foot, was Dudley J. If The Human Foot made Morton famous in the medical profession, it was his 1939 book, Oh Doctor, My Feet! written for the average person, that made him a household name. Morton went on to say that then, as now, millions of dollars are spent annually on corrective shoes or other devices that are of questionable benefit in healing the foot. The basic, simple treatment for  Morton’s Toe  and most of the problems associated with it, such as back pain, knee pain, hip pain, fibromyalgia, arthritisand most foot pains, is with a pad that is applied to the bottom of your first metatarsal bone that we call the “Toe Pad.” It was first written about by Dr. A Morton’s Toe can cause excessive strain on the second metatarsal bone or other parts of your body and foot. The Toe Pad works by removing this strain, by acting as a platform on the bottom of the first metatarsal bone. The Toe pad also acts as a platform in the treatment for hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone.
Hypermobilty at the first metatarsal bone is one of the two hallmarks of having a Morton’s Toe .
One  of the most common foot problems caused by   the Morton’s Toe,  are burning, aching and throbbing on the balls of the feet.
It is not usual for these burning discomforts to start on the balls of the feet and then spread into the toes or up the legs.
As with many other problems caused by Toe, Long Second Toe, Flat Feet, burning, aches, and pains on the ball of the foot can be treated with the  simple little Toe Pad that can realign the whole front part of the foot and allow it to work properly. Shooting pains in the toes is most commonly caused by a neuroma  which is caused by the Morton’s Toe. The bottom line is that pains of your back, thigh, knee, calf, leg, and (of course) your ankles and feet can be due to Myofascial Pain, which in turn can be caused by having a Morton’s Toe, or the “Dudley J.
If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia you might want to slowly try the toe pad only for about one or two hours a day for a week. I understand  and have great  empathy for those who suffer everyday with Fiborimalgia but please understand that the Toe Pad was not intended to cure Fibromyalgia. Most modern doctors have no idea that a Morton’s Toe can cause back problems so you may have to point this out to them, especially if you have been suffering with your back problem for some time. The good news is lower back pain can be relieved by treating the Morton’s Toe that could be causing the back pain to start with.
Hip pain or pain in the hip joint is a form of arthritis that can be caused by the Morton’s Toe . The first abnormal condition, and the most noted one, that can cause Morton’s Toe is where your first metatarsal bone is shorter than your second metatarsal bone. The second condition that can cause a Morton’s Toe is when your first metatarsal bone is not as stable as it should be, and as a result, has too much motion.
Right behind the spot where the toes attach to the foot, you will see bumps pushing up from the top of your foot.
If this is the case, you can see without difficulty that the second metatarsal head is farther down the top of the foot than the first metatarsal head.
They will have a flap of excess skin that sort of looks like a “bat wing” in between the second and third toes.

Dudley Morton,   father of the Morton’s Toe writes about, hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone, the other problems associated with Morton’s Toe. But in a foot with hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone, there is an excessive amount of motion that takes place.
But because it is treated the same way as the short first metatarsal bone, with the  The Toe Pad.,  it is not that important for you to know for sure if you have hypermobility or not.
This could be the real underlying cause of the aches and pains, all over your body, that no one, no medicine, or no thing, has been able to help. The most common reason for people to have foot problems is due to an abnormal amount of Pronation.  Morton’s Toe will cause you to have abnormal or over pronation. Once the foot has adapted to the ground the foot should stop pronating and should be starting to stabilizing itself or locking itself. It causes over pronation when walking and results in putting greater stress and strain not only on the foot but also on the whole body. This instability is the major reason the foot will abnormally pronate and cause most of the problems that I write about. .
While at Yale, he published the two papers that would present, for the first time, what Morton’s Toe was. As always, he stated the two principal reasons for foot problems are the short first metatarsal bone and or the hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone. Morton’s pioneer work, one of the most common of foot defects need no longer cause widespread suffering”.
After eighty years, its basic concept is still the best way of treating the problems of the foot and body associated with Morton’s Toe, but now it is much smaller and easier to make. Notice how it goes up and down and how this patient’s 2nd toe is longer than the 1st toe. It is this strain that can be the real cause of why you can be hurting not only in your foot, but all over your body.
It can also be cause by nerve damage known as peripheral  neuropathies But most people who come see me have a Morton’s Toe,   and not  nerve damage. Travell states how she was aware early in her career that when the second metatarsal bone was longer than the first metatarsal bone (Morton’s Toe), it could transmit abnormal mechanical stress to the muscles of the ankle, knee, and hip joints that could result in pain in these areas. Morton’s Foot.” It can also cause Temporomandibular Joint Pain, or “TMJ,” which can make your teeth, jaw, cheek, eyes, eyebrows, and ears hurt.
In it, you see a highly intelligent and articulate physician, delivering a lecture with an incredible ease and command of the facts concerning “The Dudley Morton Foot,” and all the problems it can cause. This is important because if you understand how a Morton’s Toe can cause Myofascial Pain Syndrome, then you can understand how a Morton’s Toe can also cause or be part of the cause of why you may get fibromyalgia.
If that feels good, and your fibo is not worst  then gradually add one hour every week, until your body gets use to the Toe Pad.
Janet Travell wrote that if your foot is not working right because of Morton’s Toe it can cause many muscles to be stressed and injured.
If the line of the second metatarsal head is farther down your foot toward your toes than the first metatarsal head, even just a very little, then you probably have a short first metatarsal bone.
If you do have this webbing of the toes, it is a pretty good tip off that you do have a short metatarsal bone or you are part duck.
Morton ever state that having either of those conditions was a guarantee of having a foot problem or any other problem. But with time this ongoing abnormal pressure caused by a Morton’s Toe can lead to a callous being formed under the second metatarsal head. This adjustment should only last a fraction of a second to allow the foot to slow down; absorb the shock of your body weight I in order to adjust and adapt to the walking surface.
We know that if you have a Short First Metatarsal Bone, and or Hypermobility of the First Metatarsal Bone, thanks to a Morton’s Toe you can have a lack of proper stabilization on the fore foot, at the critical moment when the foot must be a “ridge lever” in order for it to push off from the ground. It is not unusual for me to examine three generations of one family only to see the Morton’s Toe, or other similar foot problems, are present in all three generations. He stated that the tissues of the youthful foot have more elasticity than those of the older foot, and because of that, most foot problems do not appear until after thirty years of age. While at the museum, he concerned himself with the evolutionary development of the human foot. In 1927, he published a paper in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery titled “Metatarus Atavicu: The Identification of a Distinctive Type of Foot Disorder”. He continued to explain how to treat these conditions by putting a pad or a platform under the first metatarsal bone  in order to give the proper foot care. In a more advanced bunion deformity, called Hallux Abducto Valgus, there starts to be a movement of the big toe toward the second toe. As the pronation gets worst because of an untreated  Morton’s Toe Long Second Toe,  abnormal tension will be applied by the Adductor Hallicus muscle. If you have a Morton’s Toe the front part of the foot is unstable when it needs to be stable. The plantar fascia is a large, tough, fibrous rubber band band-like structure that holds up the inside part of your foot  and also.
Morton’s Foot” (Morton’s Toe ) and its relationship with Myofascial Pain Syndrome. They show how if you have a Morton’s Toe, your foot is not working right.
To watch her hands, the same hands that treated two Presidents of the United States, craft her version of the Toe Pad to treat Morton’s Toe are truly remarkable.
If it doesn’t work for you I am truly sorry, but don’t say the toe pad  doesn’t work, because it does. Over a period of years, a Morton’s Toe can cause many abnormal strains to the hip joint that can result in many painful problems. Most of the time in a Morton’s Toe the big toe will appear to be only a little shorter than the second toe or just about the same length as the second toe.
Using a pen, lipstick, or marker, draw a line where the bumps end (flat area) and meet the top of the foot. Morton, the reason for the excessive motion is due to an abnormal laxity (looseness) of the plantar ligament that runs under the metatarsal bone.

In fact, the only thing he ever stated was that by having the short first metatarsal bone or the hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone may lead to having foot problems. That book showed that Morton’s Toe was one of the underlying causes of this extremely painful muscular condition that could cause pain all over.
I believe that in many cases Morton’s Toe is the explanation for this WHY, and the reason for aches and pains not only in their back, knee, and hip but also in a lot other places in their body. At this point in time normal pronation is taking place and the foot is referred to as a “bag of bones” due to its ability to adapt to the new walking or running surfaces.
Supination must take place so the foot can become a “Rigid Lever*” (opposite of “bag of bones”) in order for it to support our body when we push off from the ground; and propel us forward for our next step.
This instability will force the foot to compensate in its attempt to become that “ridge lever”. Morton went on to say that external events like prolonged periods of standing or abusive use due to high heels, do not affect the foot in our youth.
This scientific paper was the first time Morton presented his theory of the short first metatarsal bone and its harmful effects it could cause on the foot.
The most severe bunion is when the first toe not only moves toward the second toe, but it overlaps or under laps the second toe. With time and enough irritation, the sac (bursa) that is protecting the bunion can become swollen, inflamed, and sore. This will cause many muscles to be stressed and injured. According to them there are six muscles that can be activated or have “trigger points” due to the “Dudley Morton Foot”. Like those with Myofascial Pain Syndrome, some of these women with “Fibro”  can get better by applying a toe pad to their first metatarsal bone. In Supination the arch of the foot goes up (instead of down as in Pronation) so that it can become the Ridge Lever.
He was repeatedly written about in dozens of newspapers around the country, His medical books and articles on the foot were the leading authorities of their time.
In The Human Foot, Morton laid out, step-by-step, via evolution and inheritances, why we have foot problems and what to do about them. Morton was considered by both the public and the medical community as the leading authority in this country regarding foot pain.
Morton went on to say that, other than high heels, shoes are not normally responsible for most foot problems. He called it “Means for Compensating for Foot Abnormalities.”It took almost five years, but on March 1, 1932, Dudley J.
A pronating foot places abnormal stress on many areas of the foot, including the plantar fascia and the heel bone. Because the ligament is abnormally loose, the first metatarsal bone is not as stable as it should be, resulting in many foot problems. But, if you are Over Pronating and you still are a “Bag of Bones and not the Rigid Leverwhen pushing off from the ground, then your foot and body will attempt to stop the over pronation by compensation. Don’t misunderstand, those things (job, shoes, standing) can definitely aggravate a foot already susceptible to having problems, but by themselves, they are rarely the real underlying causes of the foot problems.
Aside from being a renowned authority of the foot, Morton was also an orthopedic surgeon, anatomist, evolutionist, teacher, anthropologist, author, musician, painter and inventor.
This laid the groundwork for his most important work pertaining to the human foot, which took place in the late 1920’s. This paper described, for the first time, another condition of the first metatarsal bone known as “Hypermobility of the First Metatarsal Bone”. This condition, and the short first metatarsal bone, is one of the two problems, that for our purposes, we consider to be the Morton’s Toe. It quickly became a medical classical, becoming the leading text of it time concerning the human foot. De Kruif, who was a patient of Morton’s, testified that arch supports failed him, while Morton’s simple Toe Pad worked.
Here are the six muscles that can be caused by Morton’s Toe and the pains they can cause: This link will take you to a copy of some pages from The Dudley J. Besides the classical changes of the bone within the hip joint itself, Morton’s Toe can also cause other forms of arthritis, called non-articulating arthritis.  These inflammatory conditions affect the soft tissue as opposed to the bones, such as a bursitis of the hip.
He explains (as noted previously) that the two major causes of foot problems were the short first metatarsal bone and hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone. Morton’s Toe ) Time Magazine, in their January 26, 1942 issue, also reported about Morton’s at this meeting. He relates the story of how Morton discovered the importance of the short first metatarsal bone while looking at hundreds of x-rays, and how he developed the treatment for Morton’s Toe. Its purpose was to educate her fellow physicians of the important role the Morton’s Toe can play in regards to causing pain throughout the whole body. Another way that Morton’s Toe causes hip pain is by irritating the muscles around the hip area.  It is well established that Morton’s Toe can be underlying cause for a painful muscle condition known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
In spite of the fact that over seventy years have passed since it publications the material Morton presented in The Human Foot is still true. Not only to those suffering with foot problems, but, as you will see, for those who also suffer with pains throughout their bodies.
By the time that book was published, Morton was the leading authority of the foot in the medical world. Travell, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia in Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts In The Foot. It is because in the great lottery of life, you were born with the tendency to have a Morton’s Toe or some other foot problem.

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