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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 May 6, 2009 - 1:20pm
 
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The description of many of the commentators describe what appears to be metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, more commonly referred to as the ball-of-the-foot). This is a common foot disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball-of-the-foot. Metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot-pain) is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe).

With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by women's dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) forces the ball-of-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot. Other factors can cause excessive pressure in the ball-of-foot area that can result in metatarsalgia. These include shoes with heels that are too high or participating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also as we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, making us much more susceptible to pain in the ball-of-the-foot.

The first step in treating metatarsalgia is to determine the cause of the pain. If improper fitting footwear is the cause of the pain, the footwear must be changed. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball-of-the-foot. Unloading pressure to the ball-of-the-foot can be accomplished with a variety of footcare products. Orthotics designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. Other products often recommended include gel metatarsal cushions and metatarsal bandages. When these products are used with proper footwear, you should experience significant relief.

August 9, 2016 - 6:40pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I read where the spacing is caused by old injuries. Which makes sense. I have broken my toes and up into my foot a few times and now,have pain in the middle of my foot.

May 31, 2016 - 4:13am

Treated for low thyroid for past 25 years...........blood tests show adequate levothyroxine dosage, but still lethargic, subject to horrific weight change, and heavy sweating in moderate heat. Also cold when I shouldn't be, as compared to others in the same environment. Tendon problem in one thigh after a serious fall four years ago.. Bilateral Carpal tunnel surgery 6 months ago. Trigger finger (all) surgery scheduled for next month. I obviously have a leaning to tendon problems.

Noticed the toe separation, both feet, between 2nd and 3rd toes a couple of weeks ago;almost appeared overnight. No toe or foot pain, do not walk a lot long distance (just lazy ) but always on my feet moving and doing. The separation is rather severe, almost like a V.

So considering the no pain aspect, am I on the same page with most of you?

May 13, 2016 - 5:36am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to barbarameagher)

I read something relative called Morton's Neuroma that appears to be what you may have happening with the V toes.
Have you suffered multiple occurrences of the shingles virus in your history? Wondering about neutopathy.

July 18, 2016 - 9:45pm

I had searched for this topic & am surprised to see how common this appears to be. I am 50, maintain low blood pressure, through menopause, have a history (not current) of hypothyroidism which responded to synthroid, recent diagnosis of Sjogren's which is not active yet. I have had bunionectomies on both feet over 10 years ago & was diagnosed with bursitis in my left foot. I assumed I was experiencing the same with my right foot now. I am a short distance jogger. Over the past year the balls of my feet have been in a great deal of pain & my feet swell. At times my ankles swell too. I am developing calluses under my feet from the balls rubbing into my shoes and my feet are getting wider. It is to the point I struggle to walk getting out of bed in the morning and limp at work some days. It almost feels like bending my 2-4 toes to take a step hurts; but I do not have pain when jogging after the first few steps Has anyone found relief/treatment?

April 24, 2016 - 8:23am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have also noticed a space growing between my 2nd & 3rd toes. I am 43 with Hashimoto's, Celiac and Sjogrens. I also had Lyme disease and have been treated for that. For those who commented before I would look into Lyme as I had most all the symptoms you describe - neurological issues, joint issues, fatigue, plantars, plus many, many more.
But the toe spacing is a new development and I also have signs of early menopause so I am going to speak to my doctor about a pituitary tumor. They tend to be benign but mess with your hormones including growth hormones. You may want to look into that too as I believe they are fairly common.

December 14, 2015 - 9:41am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I also have under-active thryroid (on medication), am overweight, have suffered with plantars fasciitis (there are exercises that make it go away!), AND suffer irregular times when my 2nd and third toes have a defined separation. In fact, I also occassionally suffer from excruciating foot spasms that cause ALL the toes to separate (it looks like my toes are possessed!), am female and 62 years old. I have known for years that, whenever my toes separate (and yes, one foot sometimes turns inward a bit to the point I notice it and think "how odd!") its typically a symptom that something is really wrong with my body. I just don't know WHAT!!! I DO know that removing all wheat and all processed foods (if it comes from a can, box or package... I stayed away from it... I ate only natural foods like fruit, fresh veggies and meats (mostly chicken) --- most symtoms disappeared. In fact, one loses weight, allergies all but disappear, and the amount of energy and feelings of wellness are amazing. Alas, its an expensive (I tried to buy mostly organic foods) and time consuming diet. How I wish I hated bread, sandwiches, pasta and potato chips. :(

October 1, 2015 - 6:09pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

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
Anonymous

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
EmpowHER Guest
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
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