Forefoot varus

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Sid, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Sid Barefooters

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    Since forums are all about sharing personal experiences, this information was helpful for me. Thanks, Gait Guys!

    The Gait Guys
    Pathomechanics of the Foot
    PDF: Pathomechanics of Structural Foot Deformities
    Forefoot Varus and Overpronation by James Speck
    Forefoot varus

    A Pedograph mapping case
    to improve their ability to plantarflex the first metatarsal
    Loss of medial tripod
  2. Sid Barefooters

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    Some interesting information on the foot arches from The Gait Guys.

    The Gait Guys: Some strategies in Controlling the Foot Arches and Big Toe

    Big Toe Exercise: Regaining Control of the Extensor Hallucis Brevis.

    Part 2 of the EHB: Bringing the Extensor Hallucis Brevis of the Foot Back to Life.

    The Anterior Compartment: The Necessity for Adequate Extensor Strength

    The foot tripod: the importance of the toe extensors in raising the arch.

    Here is a little experiment … should also help you to realize the gait cycle.
    I-Did-It (Steve) likes this.
  3. Sid Barefooters

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  4. Sid Barefooters

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    Some interesting toe exercises from The Gait Guys.

    The Toe Waving Exercise: Part 1

    The Toe Waving Exercise, Part 2

    The Toe Waving Exercise: Part 3 The Lumbricals
  5. Sid Barefooters

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    Some of you may have read about my adventures in improving my bunions and forefoot valgus. Interestingly, afterwards I developed an unusual callus pattern on my left foot (the one that had the worse bunion), shown below as B. These calluses were quite uncomfortable and limited my running, and they kept growing back despite filing them off! I was unable to prevent them, despite adjusting my landing (forefoot, midfoot, lateral, medial).
    card-24714657-back.jpg
    After doing some reading below, it dawned upon me that perhaps, I was unconsciously plantarflexing my left big toe on landing. That toe was a bit stiff from the bunion, and I’m still working on improving the range of motion with the exercises above.

    So, I tried dorsiflexing my left big toe a bit more on landing. Amazingly, that solved the problem for me!

    It seems that a healthy foot is quite important to barefoot running, and that foot problems can significantly affect gait. Sometimes, it seems, that foot and gait problems can be addressed with exercises and conscious effort. I’m definitely thankful for all of the great information from The Gait Guys!

    Forefoot Valgus or Plantarflexed 1st ray?
    "I’ll plead the 1st … ." More foot geek stuff from The Gait Guys.
    Update: After just a few days, I can tell that I'm now landing on the correct part of my foot. I'm no longer hammering away at those two spots with each footfall. The area that I am landing on now is going through the conditioning process. (This is similar to what happened when I straightened out my bunions, when the calluses diminished on the side of my toes and the pads started to become thicker.)
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  6. Sid Barefooters

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    So, this is an update. I've tried several things to address problems with my left foot (see the callus pattern above).

    Dorsiflexing the toe did help a bit, but it wasn't the complete solution. The callus pattern improved, but didn't go away completely. I kept filing down the callus, but that's just a temporary fix. Landing with my weight on those two points was still a problem.

    So I tried relaxing the feet, and maybe that helped a bit. I also tried plantarflexing and planting the big toe firmly enough to lift the 1st met, and even supinating the foot for a lateral forefoot landing. That helped take some pressure off the 1st met, but it felt awkward and exaggerated, as if just another temporary fix. Plus, supinating the foot was making the medial side of my calf sore.

    Eventually, I tried different ways of lifting the foot and putting it down while standing in place, just to see if I can find a comfortable position at all. I found a decent position, and it wasn't too bad. So, I tried jogging in place, and it wasn't too bad either. I tried jogging forward slowly, and it was pretty good.

    So, I've shortened the stride length, and things feel like they are going in the right direction. I can't say that I was overstriding, because the right foot felt fine, but maybe? It even feels like I might even be shuffling a bit. If I had access to a gait lab, I think that this would have been fixed a long time ago, but that's ok, because my left foot feels a lot better now. That's all that counts!
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  7. Sid Barefooters

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    I uped my mileage a bit today, and the problem showed up again towards the end of my run. It seems that weaknesses show up when I'm tired.

    I thought back to a blog post I had read.
    http://yelling-stop.blogspot.com/2011/12/bent-big-toes-and-genesis-of-metatarsal.html
    I didn't fully appreciate the diagram, when I first saw it. Now, I understand.
    (Edit: This image shows pressure during walking.)
    uploadfromtaptalk1401030894997.jpg
    In my case, it's on the first met, hence the discomfort and callus!
    So, I had the right idea plantarflexing the big toe. However, I think it's going to take a combination of all of the above.
  8. migangelo Barefooters
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    careful. i tried plantar flexing my big toe a few years ago. changed my form and has tightened up my anterior and side leg compartments. my peroneals and extensors are constantly tight. i've been trying to change my form but it's hard once you set a different pattern. i've been trying that dorsi flexing and short footing. check your iliopsoas as well. there's a lot of compensation that will happen up the chain that can't be ignored.

    ________________________

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  9. Sid Barefooters

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    Thanks for the thoughtful feedback and suggestions! I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope that you're able to resolve them.

    In my case, I'm trying to rehab my left foot, which has been weakened by a bunion related to a pair of tight shoes from my 20's. My big toe has been particularly problematic, and I'm working on strengthening the muscles. I've noticed in comparison to my right foot, my left big toe has weaker plantarflexion, so I'm trying to restore some strength. My goal is not to plantarflex the toe all the time, but rather at the right time. It seems that proper functioning of the foot involves using the right muscles at the right time in the gait cycle.
    (I don't have to have as much problem adjusting my gait.)

    The diagram above showed the pressures for walking. This diagram below shows the pressures during running.
    http://trainingclinic.vivobarefoot....oception-Making_Sense_of_Barefoot_Running.pdf
    uploadfromtaptalk1401045864361.jpg

    Regarding your thought of examining the iliopsoas, I've noticed that my hip flexors are tight. I think that it's in large part due to sitting during my job. I've been trying to stretch them, and strengthen the glutes. Is this what you mean, or did you have something else in mind? Thanks!
  10. migangelo Barefooters
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    partly, yes. siting is not good for us. those muscles could be bound by trigger points which will have to be released first or they'll just tighten the trigger points more if you just stretch them.

    i also was only engaging my big toe while running. still caused problems. trying to sort them out with the help of those vids you posted.

    ________________________

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  11. Sid Barefooters

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    I felt out the trigger points for the iliopsoas, and I don't think that they need releasing. I suspect that over a year of not running, probably left my glutes in crummy condition. I think that this will improve over time.

    So, I tried engaging the left big toe, first for a 1 mile walk, just to get the feel of it. It felt awesome! Then I ran, and it still felt awesome for 3 miles. :D Then my toe got fatigued when I picked up the pace, and my foot was smashing into the ground again. I feel really encouraged, that I've found the problem. In my case, I think that the bunion put my toe out of alignment, limiting proper functioning, leading to weakening of the muscles over years. My right big toe engages automatically, and I'd like to see my left one do the same eventually.

    Do you have bunions also?
  12. Sid Barefooters

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    Update: Activating the big toe flexors really is working well for me. I'm also able to engage the abductor as well, which helps with my bunion.

    Apparently, it is hard to change one's gait. I walk/jog each morning, and somehow was forgetting the new gait after 24 hours (maybe due to being in shoes for work?) So, I've ended up doing it twice a day now, and it has really seemed to help.
  13. migangelo Barefooters
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    No bunions. Just weak feet. Still.

    ________________________

  14. Sid Barefooters

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  15. Sid Barefooters

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    As an update, in terms of gait, my left foot was all sorts of messed up. All that time trying to spread the big toe, to target the bunion, I somehow "forgot" that the toe goes through progressive extension and flexion during gait. I'm sure having a weak toe, due to having a bunion didn't help.

    So I tried extending the toe, and that helped a bit. I also tried to activate the other toes, which helped a bit.

    Since I've been walking with a backpack and now a weight vest, I've noticed that my gait has improved substantially. It's really helped to strengthen both feet. In particular, on my weaker left foot, the big toe is stronger and more firmly planted. The abductor hallucis is stronger. My gait has improved, and I'm utilizing the entire forefoot pad now.

    I think that I'm almost there! :D
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  16. Sid Barefooters

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    I've continued to work on developing strength and flexibility. It seems that activating the appropriate muscles during the right time in the gait cycle is important.

    I've been working on toe splay, as shown in the video below around 10:43. It seems to be helping!

    The Gait Guys: Some strategies in Controlling the Foot Arches and Big Toe
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  17. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Sid, you are the most "foot-aware" person I know. This post is just one example of that. ;)

    ________________________

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  18. Sid Barefooters

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    Using YogaToes, I've been working on developing flexibility and range of motion today. While walking the dogs, I found out that short, quick strides help with toe extension and splay. This all seemed to helped with my evening run. Nice and springy, and my left foot stopped making the slapping sound. Progress! :D
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  19. Sid Barefooters

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  20. Sid Barefooters

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    I was looking at a Ken Bob video, and saw that he extends his toes slightly, before landing.

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