Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hallux Rigidus: So Many Questions

It has been two weeks since I was diagnosed with hallux rigidus in my right big toe. At the time, my focus was on whether I could still run. I now realize my focus should be much broader than that.

I have a follow-up appointment with my podiatrist in two days and I have so many questions about what this diagnosis means on a broader scale.


How Have My Toes Felt Overall? 

Dr. Gordon will want to know how my toes have felt over the last two weeks:
  • The cortisone injection has definitely helped with the pain
  • The dancers pad helped relieve pressure
  • I'm overly aware of my toes now - they are starting to feel almost claustrophobic in both shoes and socks
  • I frequently want to stretch them and try to separate them from each other
  • I suspect hallux ridigus is developing in my left big toe as well - it has limited mobility and a visible callus on top

How Did My Toes Feel When I Ran? 

He will also want to know how they felt when I ran:
  • I had an awareness of my big toe - not pain - just sensations that suggested I needed extra protection for it
  • My 2nd toe felt irritated...hot? inflamed? bruised? I'm not sure how to describe it, but it seems to be taking the brunt of my subconscious adjustments
  • My left foot went numb, probably neuromas flaring

Activity Adjustments?

I have questions about whether there are things I should change:
  • Is it okay to walk around barefoot, or should my toes be more protected?
  • What adjustments do I need to make for yoga, which can put a lot of pressure on toes?
  • What adjustments do I need to make for strength training exercises like lunges and planks?
  • Is it okay to use my standing desk at work or should I not be on my feet so much?

Recommended Self Care?

I'm wondering about what I can do to support my toe and keep the condition from progressing:
  • Are there toe/foot exercises or stretches that are recommended? Or that should be avoided?
  • Does icing help? How often/when?
  • Should I consider taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM?

"Regular" Shoes

I will report that I have taken significant steps towards more appropriate footwear:
  • I'm getting rid of about three dozen pairs of shoes - high heels, tight toe boxes, many that I can't even actually squeeze my toes into any longer. 
    • (yes, this was as hard as you would think it would be...so many pretty shoes...impractical, but pretty)
  • I've found several pairs of wide toe box, rocker bottom, supportive shoes by Alegria and Naot

Running Shoes

I've been running in Saucony Guides in size 6 wide, but I don't think they are quite the right match for me:
  • I now know that my foot is a size 4.5, not a size 5 like I've thought for years, so 6 may be too big
  • As I worked through shoes for my neuromas, I went from a 5M to a 5.5M to a 6M to a 6W...I'm going to try 5.5W out for a bit.
  • I've tried on Altras and love the extra toe space, but I'm unsure about the zero drop (the Guides are 8 mm drop)
  • Does Dr. Gordon have any recommendations for running shoes?

Orthotics

While I've been using SuperFeet green, I recognize that it is probably time to spring for custom orthotics.
  • Unfortunately my insurance does not cover them
  • What adjustments would be included?
    • Turf toe plate? Something else?
    • Dancers pads?
    • Anything that will help my neuromas?

Wish me luck...I'll let you know what I learn & what changes I'll be making next! (click here to read the answers from my appointment)


6 comments:

  1. If you stay with the Altras, make sure you take them in small doses, until you get used to the 0 drop. Otherwise, you could overstress your Achilles and calves.

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  2. That is indeed my concern. I used to run in zero drop shoes a few years ago (Merrell pace glove) and I'm not sure I want to go back through that adjustment process. Thanks for the advice.

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  3. So many questions! I hope you get some answers this week!

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    1. Thanks! I'll let you know what I find out :)

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  4. Kim, good luck today! Sending you positive foot and toe vibes! Well, and general good vibes!

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    1. Thanks Gina! I'm in the waiting room right now :)

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