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Podiatry/is it normal?

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Question
for the big toe and the second toe to be touching when the feet are relaxed? also how common is foot asymmetry? because on my left foot the big toe and the second toe touch but on the right they don't touch at all and stay separated in a relaxed state.

Answer
Hi, Michael,

Thank you for writing.  You have written some excellent questions, and I hope my answers can help.

First of all, I wouldn't be concerned about the first and second toes touching.  That is normal for some people, especially because a lot of us wear shoes that push our toes together a little bit.  Even if you always wear sandals, it can be a normal variant.  

If the toes cross, however, or if the big toe seems to be pushing the second toe out of place, especially when you walk or are standing, then it would be something to take a look at.  Our bones and muscles and joints work together to help us walk, and if something is a little out of balance, we can develop abnormalities like bunions (when the big toe joint sticks out away from the foot and the big toe points toward the other toes) or hammertoes (where the toes curl instead of staying mostly straight).  If you have pain, I'd get it checked out.  Most likely, however, you don't need to worry.

To answer your other question, asymmetry is pretty common.  Some people have two feet that are completely different sizes.  Others have differences that are smaller and less noticeable.  That's true throughout our body...our eyes, ears, arms, hands, even the paired organs inside us like our lungs and our kidneys are different.  It's a part of our uniqueness, and for the most part, it doesn't have any noticeable effect on our lives.

But if you notice something changing, like your big toe pushing against the second toe more and more forcefully, or your toes starting to curl when they used to be straight, and especially if it's a significant change, I'd recommend you have a podiatrist take a look.  Otherwise, I'd say relax and enjoy the uniqueness of your feet.  And you only have one pair, so take good care of them!

I hope this helps.  And again, thanks for the questions.  I'm sure others have wondered but were too shy to ask.

Wishing you health, happiness, and peace,
Dr. Bodart  

Podiatry

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Dr. Amy Bodart

Expertise

Questions relating to podiatry: medicine and surgery of the foot, ankle, and distal leg

Experience

Associate at Advanced Podiatry, 2919 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33609 www.TheTampaPodiatrist.com

Organizations
APMA, FPMA

Education/Credentials
Graduated from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, OH 3-year forefoot and rearfoot residency training from Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami, FL

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