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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 May 6, 2009 - 1:20pm
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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

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
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
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
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi. I too have same separation between 2nd and third toes. I too have Hashimoto's thyroid disease. I have also been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and when in hospital my rheumatologist commented on my toes to his understudy... so I assumed it was an RA symptom, but reading here, perhaps it is just a thyroid issue. I have not been taking thyroid meds because I have discovered they mess with my brain! I have immense swelling of the soles of my feet these days - comes and goes, but the two have stayed separated for months now.

October 13, 2015 - 5:38pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

It seems SO obvious we all share thyroid problems. The separating of the toes is merely a symptom telling us something is wrong. Please, please please... go back to your doctor and at least check into a DIFFERENT thyroid medication. I am sure there must be a multitude of them, since pharmaceutical companies love to sell us drugs. I worry about your untreated thyroid issue causing bigger problems! Hopefully, someday soon, the medical profession will look at all these similarities and figure out whats happening to us! Till then, lets keep talking about it! There is strength in numbers!

October 13, 2015 - 6:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am astounded by the comments I have found here. I too have Hashimoto's and the same problem with my feet. I did ask my endocrinologist who said there is no connection ??? I also have creaky knees and after a while of being on my feet the balls ache and my feet cramp. I find this all very interesting. I have recently been for more bloods to check my TSH levels was well as B12 & Cortisol . This is after 6 weeks with an increase in dosage of Euthyrox. I am looking forward to getting the results to see where I stand. I find all your comments very informative... Thanks Donna

October 18, 2015 - 11:45pm
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
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