Do you know that the big toe dictates the movement of the plantar fascia? Pull your toe towards you and you will see the plantar fascia flex. While we know this to be true, it is surprising that the big toe joint motion has never been studied as a cause for plantar fasciitis. In my practice, I noticed that when my patients have a limited range of motion of their big toe joint, they also have decreased range of motion on their ankle, their knee, their hip and their arm swing. So essentially, when you have less motion on the joint itself, the structures around these other joints become tighter causing a decreased range of motion.
Also, do you know that those fashionable shoes of today may be hurting you? This very concept that the limited mobility of the big toe is often perpetuated by what you may be putting on your feet. Shoes help support you but we often look to make a fashion statement over protecting our bodies. No matter what shoes you may put on, we want to ensure that we don’t limit the way our big toe and the plantar fascia moves.
My assertion is that a limited range of motion of the big toe joint is the main driving factor for plantar fasciitis. A decreased mobility of this joint and its resulting dysfunction of the plantar fascia is what predisposes people to the plantar fasciitis injury. This on top of the other risk factors that we discussed on part 1, “Unpacking Plantar Fasciitis”, will greatly increase the likelihood that one will get plantar fasciitis.
So how do we treat plantar fasciitis? Join us for part 3, “Treating plantar fasciitis”