99 Problems and BIG TOE is ONE

Unable to put your foot to the ground when you get out of bed in the morning? Limping for five minutes after just sitting for ten? Wearing tight shoes causing the foot alot of pain? The foot feels heavy and lazy? These are Kevin's symptoms this week and there are so many people out there with the same and I’m going to show you how to FIX IT.

Kevin had all these symptoms last week and he was in a lot of pain after trying to run on an injured foot. We sent Kevin for an MRI scan on Monday and we got the results on Thursday. The results were very good as it showed slight swelling and possible bone bruising but no STRESS FRACTURE.

Why did I get an MRI scan? I got the MRI to slow Kevin down and give him a process that he could follow. On Friday I received the results through email at 8.29am and Kevin was in at 8.35am.  It must have being a sign that he wasn't going to be patient.

I explained that it was good news but we still need to rest to get him pain free and gradually build back up the mileage. Kevin response was “I have the gear with me Tom, can I go for a run now?”.

You honestly couldn't write it after explaining that he needed to rest he chanced his arm and asked could he go for a run - I will be on babysitting duties till Frankfurt. I don't mind doing that, like all of my clients if they are honest with me we can work together and get to Frankfurt.

So how do we get him better?

In the clinic we use a number of treatments to speed up recovery, in the area of the foot and little toe there isn't a vast blood supply so it takes longer time to heal.

What I need to do is cause blood flow to get into this area and act as a flush out to clear the dead blood and swelling from the area.

Step forward the needle:

Dry needling is a very powerful way to heal and speed up recovery especially in the bony area of the foot. There simply isn't any tissue to massage, so most therapists end up massaging bone and that's not nice. Dry needling is a lot easier and very effective for foot injuries.

In the picture above I have placed a few needles in the painful area of Kevin's foot. I will do a course of six sessions with Kevin over the next two weeks to help this area recover fast and be fully pain free.


You have a big toe for a reason. The human foot has four small toes and one big big toe. The reason for this is that the big toe should have the most weight on it when you are pushing off from the ground.

In Kevin's case the plantar fascia on the inside of his foot was very shortened and made him run on the outside of his foot. The foot isn't designed to take that load over heavy mileage and that's why he developed pain.

The big toe is designed to take that load so we simply have to bring Kevin from running on his little toe area to start running on his big toe area.

1: Loosen the plantar fascia

Again we would use massage because there is tissue that our hands move and loosen or we would use a golf ball and roll it on the inside in a sitting position For Kevin we have him doing two minutes, three times a day.

2: Retrain Pronation - foot flattening

If you are running on the outside of your foot = over supinated (over arched). So we have to train the heel to move and try and flatten the arch of the foot. The flattening of the arch will be the foundation of Kevin pushing off his big toe. Using the step allows for greater tension and strength training on the left hip muscles which are very important to take the load of Kevin's foot.

3: Retrain the BIG TOE

This exercise allows Kevin to retrain the pushing off of that BIG TOE. The wedge under the toe is a prop or a cue that makes his body move onto that area. He does this exercise for ten repetitions x three sets.

The truth is Kevin will improve with the exercises but the treatment is what is really going to get him over the line.  The hands on work and the dry needling will help him recover quicker and get rid of the restrictions in his foot.

On a side note one of my clients noted this week that we should change the title of the piece from “the long road to frankfurt” to the ‘LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO FRANKFURT”.

Tommy ConwayComment