Morton's toe, what is this? What does “Morton’s toe” mean? Is Morton’s toe rare? The answers to these questions (and more) are within this article… let’s take this step by step. The whole “Morton’s toe” thing is odd and it turns out that it causes a “syndrome” or “condition” in the body, and I had no clue this was even possible.
I did sports involving a lot of running and moving so that misalignment was happening for DECADES without me even knowing. I was an athlete who played softball since I was a little kid until I was 17, and also a cheerleader; then, as I got older, I got into running and ran tons of races (even a marathon in there), as well as played soccer. I never thought that a toe could cause so many BIG problems. The BIG problem came later with a herniation in my L5 and then it seemed to be a trickle effect from there (you can read more on that here).
This is yet another fantastic piece of wisdom that I learned from Dr. Chris Boyhan (and another big thank you to you Chris!) because this insight shed light on some long-withstanding confusion as to how I got to where I am today.
First, let’s look at a few basics:
What is Morton’s toe, and what does Morton’s toe mean?
Simply, Morton’s toe meaning is that it’s when your big toe is smaller than your 2nd toe. According to a Healthline article,
“You can tell if you have Morton’s toe just by looking at your foot. If your second toe projects out farther than your big toe, you’ve got it.
A 2004 study comparing professional athletes to non-athletes found that professional athletes tended to have Morton’s toe more frequently than non-athletes.”
The Morton’s toe meaning can go a little deeper too. I knew I had a Morton’s toe even when I was younger. The Morton's toe meanings that I had found were all related to a person’s spirit rather than what physical issues it could cause in the body.
“...areas of the world like India and China had been practicing "foot reading" since about 3000 B.C. There's even a term for it---in English, we call it podomancy. Much like palmistry, podomancy is the study of the lines of the feet, bone structure, toe length, etc. Today, we associate podomancy with fortune-telling and divination, and it's fallen somewhat out of fashion. However, cultures throughout history took it very seriously. What did these ancient cultures believe about people who were born with Morton's toe? Almost nothing negative.
The Indians believed that those who possess Morton's toe value peace and happiness more than success or money. Such people are believed to have superior leadership skills, while people who have ordinary toes fall into more of a "loyal employee" category. Similarly, the Chinese believed that if your second toe is longer, you were born to lead and seen as a role model for many people.”
Oddly enough, this all holds true in my life experience; however, I didn’t know the other “conditions” that this toe causes.
Let’s move on to that critical insight.
Morton's Toe Syndrome
My Morton’s toe has never caused me any pain at all in the actual foot, but it caused a whole hell of a lot of pain later via the misalignment on the left side of my body that was the root of the herniation in my back in the L5, the misalignment in my left knee, etc. Dr. Boyhan figured out this whole thing about the Morton’s toe causing alignment issues because he has one, and had experienced a feeling as if he was constantly standing on a pebble (which is an experience that can happen to many people). It was at that time he found out how to solve the Morton’s toe issue (more on that below!).
Here are some of the Morton's toe symptoms that people might experience (according to Healthline and TreadLabs):
- Aches and pains in the foot. It’s associated with how weight is distributed across your foot, especially on the first and second metatarsals.
- Pain and tenderness at the base of the first two metatarsal bones near your arch
- Pain at the the head of the second metatarsal near the second toe.
- Overpronation (turning inward) of foot
- Pain in the metatarsal area (ball of foot)
- Hammer toe, claw toe, and mallet toe
- Plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel or arch caused by overpronation)
- Bunions (bony protrusions) and Calluses (rough, thick skin patches)
- Morton’s neuroma (sensation of standing on a pebble or sharp object at the ball of the foot)
The other important issue to mention here is the MISALIGNMENT problem! The balance your foot needs to have for the even distribution of weight is imperative and related to the big toe being the same height as the second toe (oddly enough!). In the case of Morton’s toe, the weight isn’t balanced in the foot; therefore, the misalignment is shot up the leg into the knee, the hip, and the lower back. That keeps going up into the spine and into the neck, etc.
So, this little tiny toe can cause a whole lot of problems!
If I only knew back when I was about ten years old what I know now! I wouldn’t have had to deal with the herniated disc and other issues with the knee that I face now (and, by the way, all of this pain and injuries are on the same side as my Morton’s toe so it’s all connected).
Is Morton’s Toe Rare?
Morton’s toe varies significantly among different population groups in varying countries. According to some sources like this same Healthline article mentioned above,
“...among the Ainu people of far eastern Russia and Japan, 90% show Morton’s toe. In a Greek study, 62% of men and 32% of women had Morton’s toe.
A British podiatrist who became an amateur archeologist found that the skeletons of Celtic people were more likely to have Morton’s toe, while those of Anglo-Saxon origin more often had a second toe slightly shorter than the first one.
Fixing the Issues and Realignment
Dr. Boyhan provided me with a small piece of leather to stick to the area right under that big toe that is the “Morton’s foot” to help put balance back in that foot. And, in one of my up-too-early-can’t-sleep-nights, I was doing research on Morton’s toe and I found an incredible product that is really easy and works perfectly, too. They’re called MicroLifts. The Stick-On MicroLifts™ work to help improve your balance and is the Morton's toe pad that can save you so much pain and help to realign your body.
“Morton's Foot Syndrome and specifically the fact that the first metatarsal and big toe is not carrying its load is a big problem, but even podiatrists who you'd expect to be familiar with the problems perpetuated by these structural conditions, don't seem to give it much attention.”
“You could call the Solemate™ MicroLifts™ the world's smallest orthotics because they really change the way you stand and walk…The adhesive is medical grade, like band aids, and the peel-off adhesive protective layer removes easily.”
Simply, the Morton’s toe meaning is that your big toe is smaller than your 2nd toe.
If you have a Morton’s toe or kids that have Morton’s toe… get the pads listed above IMMEDIATELY (the Prokinetics Solemate Stick-On Microlifts).
These can help save you so much pain (or cut down on future problems if you haven’t hit any yet) and can, at some point, help correct the entire alignment from foot to knee to lower back, etc.
And, if you catch it very early for your children, they may never have to experience any pain or repercussions at all, which would be bliss for them (and a huge high-five from Advanced Alignment).
Guest Writer & Client of Advanced Alignment, Natalie Viglione
Natalie Viglione is an intuitive, healer and vessel for life and business guidance. She is activating what being a “Zen Warrior” means in her life at a time of great healing for her body, mind, and soul. Natalie operates a creative company called Team Gu and serves as a guide through her Disrupt Now Program and Podcast. As a vessel for life and business guidance, she’s here to initiate those ready to take their power back! See more at www.natalieviglione.com.