While many falls sports are reaching the midpoint of their season, spring and winter athletes who are currently in their offseason in Ohio should take advantage of the time off to address any ailments. One of the fastest female sprinters in the world, Sanya Richards-Ross had surgery on her big toe last week to address an ailment that had bothered her for years. Although it is not advisable to continue running through athletic foot pain, Richards pushed through her pain to win her first individual Olympic gold medal in the 400 meters this summer. Now she is taking advantage of her time off from competitions to correct the source of her pain!
There are many ailments that can cause pain in the big toe, or hallux that can worsen over time. One common disease that many athletes suffer from in their big toe is known as hallux limitus. This condition is a form of arthritis characterized by limited motion of the big toe, which is especially important for sprinters like Richards-Ross who require more propulsion from their toes than other longer distance runners. Other athletes that are commonly affected by this condition are football players, in which the limited motion results from trauma to the toe, or “turf toe”. A bony bump may develop on the top of the toe and motion may become extremely painful over time.
Hallux limitus can also occur slowly over time in non-athletes. Biomechanical problems where the foot does not function properly cause the base of the toe to jam on the 1stmetatarsal. This jamming instead of the normal gliding motion of the joint leads to inflammation, pain and eventual formation of the bony bump on the top of the top known as an osteophyte. Over time the joint motion may become limited. Overpronation is one of the most common causes of this unnatural jamming motion. Overpronation can also contribute to the development of a bump on the side of the big toe, or bunion, and a similar bump on the side of the smallest toe, called a tailor’s bunion.
Custom foot orthotics can be used to limit the pronation of the foot and thus limit the development and progression of these deformities. Special modifications including what is called a “Morton’s extension” can be added to orthotics to reduce the painful motion occurring at the joint in patients with hallux limitus. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary for hallux limitus pain relief. So start your next sport season like Sanya by addressing any lingering issues with your podiatrist during your off time to ensure you will be able to run pain free when competition begins again!!
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.
Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.