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  • Eugene Katsnelson PT, DPT

Just in Case! Part 1- Hallux Rigidus

In the blog series labeled "Just in Case" I will highlight patient cases that I have worked on, either in the past or present, with the hope that the information will be helpful, just in case!

With warmer weather approaching, you may be thinking of starting to get active again after a long winter of hibernation. One of your most important pieces of equipment for getting active is your feet. Your feet serve as the initial contact between you and the ground. What happens at your feet will determine what happens up the chain at your knees, hips and back.

If your activity of choice is walking or running, then you need to make sure that your equipment is in good working order to avoid injury.

In today's post I discuss, Hallux Rigidus (stiffness of the big toe), an issue that is often overlooked but can be the culprit of many lower extremity problems. Normal toe extension is 50 to 90 degrees of motion (as pictured in the image below).

Normal Toe Extension

Potential Problems Associated With Not Having Full Range Of Motion

  1. Pain or difficulty walking without turning your foot more outward- turning your foot out will cause an abnormal force through your ankle, knee and hip.

  2. Potential to cause Bunion formation.

  3. More risk of having heel pain.

  4. Potential progression of Hallux Rigidus that may result in more stiffness and pain.

What Can You Do?

Self assess your feet. Try this test at home. Does it Hurt? Is it equal on BOTH feet?

Look at the callus on the bottom of your feet. The key is that the calluses should be on the bottom, not the sides of your toes. Calluses show us where you are putting the most pressure when you walk.

Eugene Katsnelson PT, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Precision Physical Therapy

(201) 468-0282

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