Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

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
Rate This

Add a Comment40 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Also, TO ANYONE WHO OCCASIONALLY EXPERIENCES painful spasms in your feet... especially while lying down... (1) get up (2) walk backwards. I know it sounds ridiculous, and Drs would laugh at me if I told them this works... but it really DOES! Take several steps backwards. Sometimes i only need to walk backwards for a few steps, and relief is almost instant. I hope it works for you like it does for me!

August 2, 2017 - 1:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

I will be 41 in about 2 weeks and my 2nd and 3 rd toes are starting to separate. I don't think it has anything to do with my "health" but is definitely hereditary in my family! Most of the ladies in my family have the same "V" separation of their 2nd and 3 rd toes that starts happening around 40 years old. My Mamaw Tudor had it, My mom, her youngest sister, my oldest sister, my youngest sister, and now, mine are starting to separate on my left foot! I thought it was going to skip me, but unfortunately, it hasn't! Before it started seperating, I was having like "craps" on the top of my foot, just below those toes. Rubbing the area would stop the pain, but then it would return a few days later. This lasted on and off for a couple of months. I would have been worried something was seriously wrong, if I didn't already have several ladies in my family with the condition. When I mentioned the pain to my mom, she said to be looking for my toes to start seperating...and she was right!

May 12, 2017 - 8:27am

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

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
(reply to LJeanLaura)

My toes(worse on the right foor) separate between 2nd and 3rd. I get severe pain in the right foot when walking. Separation seemed to come quickly, but pain happened some time after that. It came on just as quickly after working at a job where i had to stand and sometimes walk continuously for hours. I'm 56, have had subacute thyroiditis in the past and I believe less severe subsequent episodes though when tested levels are low normal. Auto-immune diseases run in my family heavily. My mother also has the toe separation and has had auto-immune disorders for years as well as hyperthyroid. Reading all the comments on the page it does seem the thyroid and perhaps many different auto-immune disorders. Having said all that I wanted to let you and others know of a couple of things that have helped me. When the pain wasn't quite as bad a very hard plastic orthotic with good arch suppport all the way across to the ball of my foot. This still helps a lot, but I've also purchased toe separators. Sort of counter-intuitive, but they eliminate the V and separate all my toes. They stretch my entire foot and my posture is better as well. I wear them barefoot at home and sometimes inside shoes. So far I'm really impressed. When I walk my feet seem to have the pressure spread out instead of too much pressure on the small toes. It feels like my foot is more stable, but before it did not feel unstable. Anyway, I'm using orthotics and toe separators as well as researching other options. One last thing. A podiatrist diagnosed me with Morton's Neuroma. I researched it and thought for sure that was it, but I suddenly noticed none of the pictures I saw had separating toes. I may well have it, but might be something else. He seemed a bit puzzled when I told him my mother had the same toe separation, but said it must be hereditary. Sorry for such a long comment. I wanted to be as thorough as I could. Reply if you'd like any information about the orthotics or toe separators I purchased. I hope all goes well with you!

April 22, 2017 - 6:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to lovemyshitzu)

I have the separation of toes on my right foot as well, Second and third toe I love to walk 10 kilometres to day and have to stop and shake my foot because it becomes painful I find it embarrassing to wear open toe shoes I am 53 Is there a way to make my toes comeback together?

August 1, 2017 - 9:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

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
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.