Wow - this was one of my first Youtube videos and it is not far off breaking 600,000 views! There are a lot of sore toes out there.
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In this video, I demonstrate how to gently mobilise the big toe in a case of so-called "Hallux Rigidus" or what is better described as a "stiff and sore big toe" which my partner, Alofa, suffered after stubbing it on a large rock several months earlier. She does not really have "Hallux Rigidus": her toe is not rigid - it is stiff and very sore to walk on. I have used the term, "hallux rigidus" because the majority of cases are not true cases and it helps people in need find my video when doing searches.
It can sometimes hurt a little to do this gentle procedure but this will go away the moment you stop and the benefits for most cases can be quite remarkable.
In the old days, it was known as "Turf Toe" because there was a spate of cases in American Football with the introduction of artificial turf. The sudden deceleration of foot inside the cleated shoe when stopping suddenly on this new turf was repeatedly slamming the big toe up against the hard end of the toe box, damaging the toe joints. Hence the term, "Turf Toe". It sounds good - better than the awful term, "Hallux Rigidus". The same condition can be seen in sports like boxing and fitness to music which involves rapid and frequent lunging forwards then backwards.
It may be that patients are given this name, "Hallux Rigidus", because it sounds grand, pumps the ego of the therapist, and softens up the patient for invasive, high value and/or easy solutions such as surgery, orthotics, powerful medications and steroid injections.
To repeat: this procedure, when done as demonstrated, is actually quite painless and it is very safe.
If you have toe and foot pain, keep your feet warm, have tepid foot baths with Epsom Salts stirred in and make sure you get some exercise most day. Exercise in water is perfect!
Most cases of toe pain can be resolved by this simple procedure of mobilisation. You can even do yourself, plus changes to your diet and reviewing other factors, the most frequent being the toxic effects of many common medications such as those prescribed for high blood pressure.
Do this procedure just once a week only and expect significant improvements after 4-6 sessions. But be patient and never force things. Use common sense and listen to your body as to how much to do in a session and how long to rest between sessions to allow healing and strengthening of the tissues.
Nutraceuticals to help healing
When considering purchasing any of the following, please read the technical guidelines for each product and do an internet search using key words such as "tocotrienols + arthritis". Aim to be the World's leading expert in your own health.
The best strategy is to have a small dose of everything here once a day for at least three months of consistent ingestion.
A few cups of home made bone broth provides the collagen and minerals needed for joint healing. http://blog.garymoller.com/2013/04/bone-broth-one-of-wholefoods-nutrient.html
Aim to be the World's leading expert in your own health.
I must emphasise that you can not expect an overnight result from taking these. It probably took many years for your toe(s) to deteriorate where they now are and much damage may have been done. While your body has a remarkable capacity to heal the most awful of damage, this takes a long time and the process of recovery may be almost so subtle to be imperceptible unless measured in months, rather than days.
Be wary of "quick-fixes", including drugs and injections that promise near-miracles. If the procedure sounds too good to be true then it probably is! Like a good cheese or wine, patience and time produce the best results.
If these fail
If your toe(s) fails to improve significantly after about 4-6 sessions done once or twice a week, plus this nutrition, then you need to consider that there may be other factors at play of which there are many. If you find this is the case, please contact me directly: https://www.garymoller.com/consultation and we will take it from there.
Where did I learn this procedure?
When my sister, Lorraine, was competing internationally in athletics during the 70's and 80's I got to meet not just many professional athletes but also some of their trainers - some of the best therapists in the world who had the job of keeping these highly-tuned thorough-bred athletes injury-free and well-oiled. Some came to New Zealand. During the 70's, after the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand became the Winter training base for a number of elite Northern athletes. The Japanese marathon team, for example, was training in South Canterbury but the main base was Auckland where athletes came to train with the likes of Walker, Quax, Roe and, of course, my sister, Lorraine. On a few occasions, via Lorraine, I slipped a few of these therapists a thousand dollars or so, plus airfares and accommodation, to come to Wellington to run therapy workshops for my company. Of course the real motivation was to learn these procedures myself!
One therapist in particular, an athletic trainer by profession, taught us many procedures, including how to treat "Turf Toe". It was so long ago that I can not recall his name. He was very good - the best and I am forever grateful for what he taught me.
I am not intending to upset the Experts
This video has infuriated a few blinkered health experts and it has even generated hate mail for me. I guess this simple procedure is not as sexy as steroid injections, invasive surgery, or various braces, casts and orthotics that may cost just a few dollars to make then dispensed for huge profits. The most expensive orthotics I have ever had the pleasure of biffing into the bin exceeded $900 which you and me, the taxpayers paid most of via our ACC levies for little or no real benefit to the patient.
The kind of mobilisation I demonstrate in this video was commonplace up until the 1970's but is no longer in vogue. It has been written out of the medical text books and now long forgotten. Why? I think it is because medicine is Big Business nowadays and the Big Money is never to be made by pulling on a patient's big toe once a week, or recommending a daily cup of bone broth.
Orthotics, casts, braces, surgery and drugs now dominate the medical market and these have crushed and suppressed low-cost, safe and healthy procedures that were once the standard treatment.