Morton’s toe is a condition characterized by the big toe (first metatarsal) being shorter than the second toe (second metatarsal). Dr. Morton first described Morton’s toe and its damaging effects on the foot in 1928. Dr. Morton stated the two main reasons for foot ailments were the short first metatarsal bone and/or the hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone. He explained that placing a support under the first metatarsal bone could treat symptoms caused by Morton’s toe. When the second metatarsal is longer than the first, it touches the ground first, absorbing all of the body’s weight. The second metatarsal was not designed to bear that much weight. In reaction to this weakness, the foot compensates by rolling in the direction of the big toe. Over time, excess pressure on the second through fifth metatarsals can result in metatarsaliga, a painful, burning discomfort felt on the balls of the feet. Providing a first metatarsal support gives stability to the foot and restores proper alignment.
Things You'll Need
- Foam shoe inserts (any type)
- Medical tape
Purchase any type of foam shoe inserts. Inserts do not need to be expensive to be effective. One pair of foam inserts will make several metatarsal arch supports.
Using scissors, trim the foam shoe insert into rectangles. Make the rectangles 1 inch wide by 2 1/2 inches long, about the size of a Band-Aid.
Place the foam rectangle over the first metatarsal head on the bottom of the foot. The first metatarsal head is described as the bulge on the bottom of the foot under the big toe. Ensure that the longest side of the pad is running down the foot.
Tape the support pad to the foot with medical tape. Continue with normal activities. Metatarsal support pads should be removed at night and replaced in the morning. You can reuse the pads several times.