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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hallux Rigidus/Hallux Limitus: Self Mobilization Technique

     The above video demonstrates the 4 common self mobilization maneuvers patients can do to create more motion in their big toe joints (first metatarsal phalangeal joints). The most important points to remember are:
  1. Mobilization maneuvers are not the normal motions of a joint.
  2. Mobilization maneuvers are over very small distances
  3. Mobilization maneuvers should never hurt. If they hurt, the joint will be tighter when you finish then when you started.
  4. Mobilization maneuvers occur to only one-half of the joint, you must stabilize the other half.
The 4 maneuvers mentioned are:
  • Long Axis Extension (joint distraction)
  • Dorsal Plantar Glide (up/down motion)
  • Counterclockwise and Clockwise Rotation (joint rotation)
  • Abduction Adduction (side to side motion)
These maneuvers involve moving the hallux (big toe) on a fixed first metatarsal. The bone, not skin, must be grabbed on both sides. The big toe has two bones and a joint. You want to grab the bone closest to the big toe joint. Each motion should be done 2 or 3 times only with quick motions as you get good. These maneuvers should be done once daily. Normally, after 50 times, increased joint motions are noted. Some patients will do after a hot shower, or in a warm water soak, jacuzzi, or Bikram Yoga session. If pain is produced with the mobilization, ice for 20 minutes afterwards. You can get further advice from a physical therapist or chiropractor skilled at foot manipultions. I hope this helps you gain motion in your stiff big toe joints from Hallux Limitus, Hallux Rigidus, post bunion repair (find out from surgeon when safe to do), and other injuries to the big toe joint.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.