"Dr. Burton S. Schuler, Morton's Toe Expert"- Author of Why You Really Hurt, It All Starts In the Foot.

Abnormal Pronation



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Pronation: Why it is the Cause of Most Foot Problems

The most common reason for people to have foot problems is due to an abnormal amount of a  motion of our feet know as Pronation.   There are two types of pronation, normal pronation and abnormal pronation

Normal Pronation or just  “Pronation”:   A certain amount of Pronation is absolutely needed for the human foot to work properly. Pronation  (normal Pronation)  allows the foot to become a “Bag of Bones” (loose), in order for it to act as a shock absorber so it can adaptor to all of the different walking surfaces we are on. This adaption (pronation) is only supposed take place for a split second. When it goes on longer than that split second is when we start to have a condition known as Abnormal Pronation.

Abnormal Pronation:  This is when the foot does not stop pronating when it should. When this happens the entire foot is put under a great deal of stress and strain  leading to bunions, corns, hammer toes, s  and numerous other foot problems. Having a flat foot is often releated to abnormal pronation when it is  really is not. Plantar Fasciitis is most often caused by abnormal pronation. 

Supination: This is the opposite movement of pronation. Our foot must be able to “supinate” at the proper time so our foot can push away from the ground. If our foot can’t supinate when it should, because of pronation it can cause all of the above problems 

One of the main reasons for abnormal pronation is due to a Morton’s Toe, (see below)  which is an Inherited Trait. The long term treatment for abnormal pronation is relatively simply. With an Orthotic we are able to control the abnormal pronator forces in the majority of our patients. Surgery is not needed, but again a orthtic is mantaory if you are going to control the abnormal forces caused by overpronation 


In the 1920’s and 1930”s Dr. Dudley J. Morton of Yale Medical School and Columbia Medical School wrote that a problem with the 1st metatarsal bone, known as a Morton’s Toe could be the reason for most foot problems. Dr. Janet Travel, White House physician to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University took this concept further by writing and teaching that the Morton’s Toe could cause pain all over your body. She wrote and taught for four decades that a Morton’s Toe could cause back, hip, knee, leg foot and ankles problems. She felt that the Morton’s Toe, was so important that at the age of 89 she made a video tape to teach other physicians about how to recognize it and how to treat it. 

                                                            Dr. Janet Travell with President Kennedy

Morton’s Toe can also cause fibromyalgia, arthritis, sleep disturbances (RLS), temporomandibular joint pain, and numerous other problems through out the body The good news is that all of these problems can be treated with a simple pad that costs about two to three dollars. The bad news is  that in spite of the fact that two of the most famous doctors of the twentieth century were behind the Morton’s Toe, most modern day physicians are not aware of Morton’s Toe or of it ability of causing pain all over the body.