Hallux Rigidus—“Big Toe”


Hallux Rigidus—“Big Toe”

 

Jammed. Stubbed. Bruised, or just locked up—our big toe can ground our locomotion. The big toe is the most important of the five. The hallux, or “great toe” is our vital point of contact with landing surfaces in walking, running, for movement. If you are experiencing pain, irritation, soreness, or lack of mobility you may have hallux rigidus.

 

What it is?

Hallux rigidus, is caused by range of motion loss in the joint that connects the great toe and first metatarsal. There is pain walking and in many cases with any pressure or weight bearing.

 

Reset it

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Step One: Sit on a flat surface with one leg in front of you. Bend the exercising at the knee at a 90-degree angle. Grab the top of your foot with both hands. Exhale. Extend your big toe toward the floor. Stabilize the other toes. Gently assist the toe downward within its natural end range of motion. Inhale. Return to start position. Repeat for 8-10 reps. This relaxes and lengthens the Toe Extensors. Join the Whartons Streaming Video Channel to access the full menu of videos on any device.

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Step Two: Sit on a flat surface with one leg in front of you. Bend the exercising at the knee at a 90-degree angle. Grab the top of your foot with both hands. Exhale. Flex your big toe upward. Gently assist with one hand at your natural end range of motion. Inhale. Return to start position. Repeat for 8-10 reps. This relaxes and lengthens the Toe Flexors.

Whartons Simple Solutions--Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis, while the name may sound like a mysterious tongue twister, the experience is not.  Millions of people undergo any number of the following on a daily basis:  a pain on their heel the moment their foot hits the ground in the morning; tenderness in the heel and arch area; pain in the heel or arch area after taking the first few steps after a long periods of sitting discomfort and throbbing in the heel and arch area after long periods of standing. 

Plantar Fasciitis- What it is?

Plantar Fasciitis is painful inflammation of the heel and bottom surface of the foot.  It is generally caused by overstretching of the fibrous tissue (fascia) that connects the heel to the forefoot.

Breaking the injury cycle requires an overall approach, examining critical elements such as postural alignment, biomechanics, musculoskeletal balance, correct footwear, and training – see the illustration below. Here are few additional tools to help you get on your road to recovery:

Reset It! - Bend the knee of your exercising leg. Place your hand over the top arch of your foot. Flex your top arch and toes toward you. Move until your natural end range of motion. Gently assist with your hand as you continue to move. Return to start position. Exhale as you flex your toes and arch toward you. Inhale as you return to start position. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Stabilize It! -   Assume the same starting position as your “Reset”/the previous exercise – bending the knee of your exercising leg.  Place your hands over the top of your foot.  Extend your toes and top arch toward the ground. Resist with a gentle pressure with your hand resting on the top of your foot. Exhale as you move. Inhale as you return to start position. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 repetitions. Increase resistance with your hand as you get stronger and your body adapts/adjusts to the exercise.

Release it! -  While seated, cross your affected leg over your opposite thigh or bend your knee. Using your thumb or fingers start applying a very gentle pressure between the inside of your heel and inside anklebone. Since your fascia may already be inflamed, go slowly allowing your thumb or fingers to be taken into the distorted tissue. You can use a muscle salve or a more adhesive substance for a better grip. Take the time to allow the micro bundles of your facial fibers to unwind at their own pace.

 

Now - The Best Time for Active-Isolated Flexibility

Now - The Best Time for Active-Isolated Flexibility

People frequently ask me the best time to integrate active-isolated flexibility into their routine....the best time to is now.  Conceding the potential impracticality of now, some more guidelines can be provided.

Fall into Alignment

Fall into Alignment

Believe it or not by standing up against a straight vertical surface you are in optimum postural alignment. That is our natural design -  to evenly distribute the force of gravity and enjoy efficiency of movement.

Tennis - Love It!

Tennis - Love It!

If the US Open and fall weather have brought you to the courts before winter sets in… Here’s a tip on getting the most out of your backhand....

Muscles tightening on the tennis court as the fall weather gets a little “nippy”? Well, here’s a simple tip to keep your serve in full swing:

Gardener's Relief-Side Trunk Muscles

Gardener's Relief-Side Trunk Muscles

Akin to the engineering of a suspension bridge, our side back musculature is constantly at work every time we move. Lateral trunk muscles play a pivotal role in the daily life of the grower. Reaching down to plant a new row of veggies, extending to liberate crops from invasive weeds, and, wielding hand tools to prepare the soil.  These side back muscles need maintenance—especially if they are painful. Here’s a flexibility and strength exercise to gain range of motion and structural integrity.

Gardner's Back Relief

Gardner's Back Relief

We bend, reach, lean, and crouch; for hours on end - these compromising postural positions are commonplace for the grower. Our back muscles are appropriately named—erector spinae- they hold our trunk up right.  The moment we flex our trunk even 45 degrees we’ve just placed 50% more compression on vulnerable discs.