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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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I had to have my 4th toe amputated and now 3 years later, my second toe is separating from my big toe (probably to compensate for the loss) and aching because of the toe bones shifting. I only noticed it when comparing the toes with my other foot. I don't know if anything can be done about it, but it aches on & off. This is a self-diagnosis only, but it seems logical.

September 18, 2017 - 12:00pm
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
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Walking backwards really helped!!!
I get painful cramps all the time and just tonight remembered your advice and it helped immediately!!!
Thank you!

September 22, 2017 - 7:03pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I used to have awful cramps in my legs, feet, and toes. As crazy as it sounds I just open a bar of Zest Cocoa Butter and Shea soap and place it at the foot of my bed, under the fitted sheet near where my feet will be and I haven't had a cramp of any kind since. I've been doing this since Jan 14, 2017. About once a month I either scrape the soap all over to refresh it or just replace it with a new bar. I've told this to several people who also suffered from cramps and it has worked for them also. One good thing is, if you try it and it by some chance didn't work for you, all it would have costed you would be the price of a bar of soap. But so far it has worked for everyone who tried it. I don't know why it works but it does!

November 2, 2017 - 2:06am
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
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This is my situation exactly! It runs in my moms family, and I'm the same age as well. Is there anything you've found to stop them from separating? I've been wrapping my 2nd & 3rd toes together to relieve the pain, but I'd like to stop it altogether if possible.

August 25, 2017 - 7:26pm

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
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Anonymous (reply to AlainHarvey)

Excellent. I’ve changed to more common comfortable and sensible shoes and have been using gel pads, and my feet have improved.

October 8, 2017 - 6:43pm
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
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