REVIEWS OF DR. SCHULER
Podiatrist writes about Morton’s Toe, and Fibromyalgia,
There are two twentieth century medical doctors whose contributions are very relevant for the treatment of pain today: Dr. Dudley J. Morton and Dr. Janet Travell. In 1927, the first, Dr. Dudley J. Morton, was the first to identify the possibly painful consequences of having a long second toe while an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale University. In fact, his research on this topic led the condition to evenually be referred to by the medical establishment as “Morton’s Toe.” (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/mortons-toe/dr-dudley-j-morton/)
According to Morton, a long second toe can result in the foot incorrectly absorbing shock when it hits the ground, causing extra stress. It was Dr. Janet Travell, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University and White House physician for both John F. Kennedy and Lydon B. Johnson, who linked a long second toe to back, hip, knee, ankle and (of course) foot pain. She described “Myofascial Pain Syndrome” as muscle pain, and it is a condition that causes hurting in locations away from the stressed muscles. Travell stated that there are several causes of Myofascial pain such as mechanical stress, postural stress, muscle constriction, leg length descrepancies, slow metabolism, sleep disorders, anxiety/ depression, and–as previously mentioned–Morton’s Toe.
According to Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot by Panama City podiatrist Dr. Burton S. Schuler (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com), Dr. Travell attended a 1942 lecture by Dr. Dudley J. Morton about treating Morton’s Toe (which she referred to as “Dudley J. Morton’s foot”) and this lecture made a lasting impression on her medical practice and our modern understanding of how pain works.
Today, we hear much about Fibromyalgia, which is related to Myofascial Pain Syndrome. The Merck Manual, a widely used medical reference book, lists them together and describes Fibromyalgia as pain in fibrous tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other white connective tissues (http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec04/ch040/ch040d.html#sec04-ch040-ch040c-822). According to the National Fibromyalgia Assocation (FMA) website (http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=fibromyalgia) Fibromyalgia is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally and socially. According to the website: “Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.”
Although there is not one singular identifiable cause for Fibromyalgia, both doctors Travell and Schuler acknowledge Morton’s Toe as one potential cause of the chronic pain that characterizes it. This should be taken as good news for those who have suffered inexplicable pain but have not yet considered whether their longer second toe could be causing some or all of the pain.
Women tend to get diagnosed more frequently with Fibromyalgia than men, according to Schuler, who writes about his experience treating women who have already been diagnosed with the syndrome. In Why You Really Hurt, he states that the simple toe pad treatment that he prescribes many patients can help or hurt symptoms. (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/mortons-toe/fibromyalgia/). Whether you are newly diagnosed or have exhausted other treatment alternatives, treating your Morton’s Toe appears worth trying based on research that dates back half a century or longer.