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ask: Space between 2nd and 3rd toes, L foot, is widening for no apparent reason. When I walk, I have pain in those toes and it feels as if gross swelling is taking place, but it isn't. What is this - circulation or something else?

By Anonymous
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Wow! I'm a 56yr old female, I have separation between second and third toe. hypothyroidism, hoshimoto. Have vitamin D deficiency and low on iron and zink. Had facisitis about 4 years ago. Was 50 lbs overweight, but now I'm 20 lbs over. My middle toe is longer than the big toe. I wear a lot of open toe shoes and sandals. Never wear high heals and if so, they'll be platforms very comfy. Never wear tight shoes. No trauma. Very interesting to see the similarity of symptoms. I have no pain, but I don't like how it looks. I'm seeking ways to correct it.

August 4, 2015 - 1:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am facing similar symptoms. My third and fourth toes hurt, and a space is developing between my second and third toes. I am thirty six, and I also have hypothyroidism and occasional joint and muscle pain that seems exacerbated by wheat, msg, and/or refined sugar. I am also a neuromuscular massage therapist, and my pain is not responding to self treatment, stretching, or exercises.

July 30, 2015 - 9:11am
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had the surgery! I developed a space between the two toes next to my big toe, right foot. I also had hammer toes. My only pain was trying to wear closed toe shoes. The top of my toes would rub on the shoe. I had the surgery to straighten my toes and remove the space. I can walk fine in shoes. It feels a little funny and uncomfortable to walk barefoot on hard surfaces, but certainly doable. My shoes fit better. I don't have pain. The two toes with the space are now stiff, but does not cause problems. No cause for the toe separation was determined.

July 31, 2015 - 6:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I too have the separation between the 2nd & 3rd toe on my left foot but it seems to come and go. I'm 51, with thyroid issue (was in the midst of being diagnosed while in another country when I left and have yet to complete any action), had plantar fasciitis in both feet about 12yrs ago, diagnosed with low calcium and vitamin D while overseas (desert climate and avoiding the sun - is common there), about 40lbs over weight, while playing adult kickball overseas had repeated "pulled muscles" in various muscle of the upper and lower legs - none of which were truly warranted based on the activity level. These pulls/pains only lasted a few days to a week and then a different muscle or leg would have the same issue. These pulls were unlike any true pulls from when i was in athletics. Even carrying a box for moving gave the precursor sensation, that is very different from any strain, to this "pull" happening. This precursor sensation usually happened about 24hrs prior to the pull happening. Feet and legs will ache after walking or standing for long periods of time and will be creaky and crampy until loosened up. Now that I'm back home I need to pursue this as well as find a family doctor. Not exactly sure what direction to take with all of this. Help, please?

June 22, 2015 - 12:11pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Regarding your toes - have your checked into Morton's Neuroma? Read more here:

With regard to your easily pulled muscles and joints - I suggest you talk to a rhumatologist or a orthodontic specialist. Please keep us posted!


June 22, 2015 - 3:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

I also have the symptoms of Hashimotos, overweight,my knees creak, my second and third toes ate separating, painful and by the end of the day my ankle is so painful.
My left foot also slipped behind my right while stepping onto my deck from my car. Down I went. Broke my shoulder. Since that was the main concern my foot and ankle and knee were ignored until now.

It is nearly impossible to loose weight, can't sleep well, groggy ,foggy mind. Amenorrhea since two years but no typical peri menepause symptoms. I'm 52.
What is the connection here. So many of the same symptoms from one story to another.

May 23, 2015 - 10:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

I believe this is nutritional/hormonal - all my patients including me have no pain or neuromas but the following in common
1 hypothyroid longstanding
2 arthrites/fasciites/tendonitis
3 midlife
I'm an integrative gp so will continue to search other medical traditions for answer - you are only site I even see mentioning this , well done

June 29, 2014 - 12:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi. I also have this problem w the 2nd & 3rd toes separating. Last year there was a painful burning lump on my footpad where their origin is but after a few months it went away. My feet also swell, my joints pop frequently and are often sore especially my feet. I had also noticed some months ago that when i would be standing, my left foot would be turned inward, so I would have to make a conscious effort to stand flat on that foot. I also began to wear running shoes at work for their support of my ankles. However, about a week ago my left foot turned inward on me while going down stairs and I fell. Stuff got torn in there and there was bleeding and bruising and swelling. Now the top left side of my foot is swollen, hurts, and my leg along the left side also is sore. And my toes are still separated. I am 45, have been diagnosed with hashimotos, used to have plantar fasciitis in both of my feet, am about 80-90lb overweight (cant seem to lose it no matter what I do), am in menopause, and have sensitivities that affect my blood pressure & shoot it up. I think all the stuff wrong is related but have yet to find a doctor who can help me beyond the basic things. If you are an integrative gp, I hope you are one that thinks outside the box. I also hope you find an answer. my personal opinion is that with autoimmune disease the whole body is affected and this is just one more of the many symptoms that seem unrelated. The joints, tendons, and even muscles are weakened by the body attacking itself. When the thyroid is involved, the whole body is affected. And many times hashimotos (an autoimmune disease) disguises itself as plain hypothyroidism. Like I said this is my opinion, based on observations of myself and others I know, and the research I've done. good luck with your research. Again I hope you find an answer.

August 15, 2014 - 10:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have many of the symptoms you describe. It progressed slowly, over 5 to 10 years of ongoing stress. I was diagnosed hypo/hashimoto in April 2013. Found the STTM website and then Hashimoto411 on Facebook. There are so many good support groups with well educated moderators. I switched to the AIP diet and added recommended supplements. Felt immediate relief. Swelling, joint aches, foot pain, brain fog, and fatigue all but disappeared. I have learned that 95% of people who present with hypothyroidism have hashimotos, as well. And that the only way to get it under control is to lower your antibodies. I highly recommend you find an integrative or functional dr. who understands this disease.

August 15, 2015 - 7:03am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have this problem too on my left foot. I had a break in that foot a year and half ago. Fifth metatarsal. It healed in about three months. The spacing between 2nd and third toe started a few months ago. At least that is when I noticed it. The foot feels achy on the top part. I wear fit flops quite frequently since they are very comfortable to walk and stand for long periods of time. I am 55 and do not have hypothyroidism. I do have arthritis in my feet and in the mornings the ball and toe area of both hurt for awhile. I went to podiatrist who said it is not Mortons. He gave me orthotics to wear that raise up the ball of the foot so as to properly align my feet and improve my gait. My left foot feels worse while wearing these but I am going to continue wearing them for awhile. I hope it helps.

September 13, 2014 - 10:31am
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