Over the course of the weekend, I decided to do a case study/experiment with the taping. I'm excited that the subject of my study is...me! (There's gonna be a great deal of excitement in this post...)
I have weird toes. They've been this way as long as I can remember. My big toes point outward instead of straight ahead. See?
The technical term for this is "hallux valgus," which I more commonly refer to as "crooked toes." I don't know if I inherited this trait, or if it's a combination of being a toe-walker and running around barefoot my whole life. (I can safely say it's certainly not from wearing too many tight pairs of high heels.) They don't really cause me any problems, except some occasional soreness after running longer distances. But I could eventually end up with painful bunions, which does not sound all that exciting to me.
Anyway, I'm going to see if Kinesio taping my toes for a length of time will correct and reverse the crookedness. The instructor of my course told about some women with this same condition who managed to change the bone structure of their toes after only two months of taping, which they evidenced by x-rays. I don't expect a complete correction of my toes, but I do wonder if I can permanently alter the valgus angle by a few degrees. Here comes the technical information:
11/21/11 - Starting Measurements
Left (L) metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint: 35 degrees valgus
Right (R) metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint: 30 degrees valgus
Measurements After Taping
L MTP: 15 degrees valgus
R MTP: 20 degrees valgus
It just now dawned on me that this will be the most boring blog post some of you have ever read and that not everyone shares the same happiness over seeing my toes taped. I apologize. I'm posting anyway.
Anyway, if you happen to still be paying attention, you will have noticed that the tape decreased the valgus angle of both toes. Not enough to make them completely straight, but enough to make a significant difference in the joint alignment. I'm hoping that, over the course of a few months, my foot muscles will be retrained enough to hold my toes in a slightly better position and maybe even change the bone structure.
Enough geeking. I'll try to post an update every few weeks for your reading pleasure...or non-pleasure. Mostly it's just more fun to blog about it than to write up a boring research paper.