Educational Articles

Capsulitis

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

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The above content is for educational or informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or augment professional medical instruction, diagnosis, or treatment. Read full disclaimer here.

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Comments
March 04, 2018
Rene Riley

I have plantar fasciitis and capsulitis! I had shots, but they didn’t help. I also had orthotics made, but I still have pain.

March 04, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Rene,

Thank you for your comment. We’re sorry to hear that you’re dealing with foot pain.

Conventional footwear is the most common cause of both plantar fasciosis and capsulitis. In our experience, we’ve found that spreading the toes (using Correct Toes) and allowing the foot to function like a bare foot inside the shoe (using foot-healthy footwear) is the key to addressing plantar fascia and ball of foot pain. A couple types of foot pads (heel cups and metatarsal pads) have also proven helpful for these problems. You can find this helpful footgear by following these links:

Correct Toes:
www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/correct-toes

Foot-Healthy Footwear:
Men’s: www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/mens-shoes
Women’s: www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/womens-shoes

Heel Cups:
www.naturalfootgear.com/products/tulis-heel-cups

Metatarsal Pads:
www.naturalfootgear.com/products/pedag-metatarsal-pads

Also, the following two videos discuss natural, non-invasive ways to address plantar fasciosis and capsulitis:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17889116-plantar-fasciosis-conventional-vs-natural-approaches
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17853268-ball-of-foot-pain-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

Each set of feet is unique, and what works for one person may not work for someone else. For most people, though, we’ve found that the use of Correct Toes, foot-healthy shoes, and foot pads can go a long way in helping restore their feet to function the way nature intended.

I hope this info helps! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to help out however we can.

Kind regards,
Andrew Potter

February 21, 2021
Estelle Rousso

I have capsulitis and a fractured plantar plate. I’m looking for sneakers with a wide toe box and good cushioning. I walk a lot and need good support. Can you recommend sneakers for me to wear comfortably? Thank you.

February 21, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Estelle,

Thank you for reaching out to us. You might have some success with Altra athletic shoes, though not all models in Altra’s current product lineup possess the generous toe box width that characterized their older models. Topo Athletic may also have one or two models that fit the bill here. If I think of anything else that might work for you, I will definitely let you know!

Kind regards,
Robyn Hughes, ND

February 22, 2021
Steve

I have capsulitis. I have been to the doctor, but nothing has worked. Pads and insoles have helped a bit, but I can’t walk barefoot anywhere for long. My doctor says he can perform an in-office procedure to correct the problem (but it’s not covered by insurance). Suggestions?

February 22, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Steve,

Thank you for reaching out. I certainly understand your desire to explore your capsulitis-related treatment options. I recommend that you check out this video, which delves a bit deeper into this problem and compares and contrasts conventional vs. natural approaches to capsulitis:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/educational-articles/ball-of-foot-pain-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

If you have any additional questions after viewing the video, please do let us know!

All the best,
Robyn Hughes, ND

February 22, 2021
Nadia

I was diagnosed with capsulitis of the second toe in August of last year. I received some cut-out orthotics, and I use them daily, but I find that I still need a cushioned shoe to really not feel the sensations in the ball of my foot. Currently, I am using the Hoka One One Bondi 6, but it’s a very thick and unprofessional work shoe. I need something that is … “cooler” but that’s still professional and in a wide width. Incidentally, I ice my foot daily and use toe spacers to try to get my little piggies into proper alignment. Any suggestions?

February 22, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Nadia,

Finding footwear that’s both professional-looking and foot-healthy can indeed be a challenge, although more and more options are becoming available for women over time. You might consider checking out the Vivobarefoot product lineup to find a design that’s more suitable for the workplace. Just bear in mind, though, that, at last check, Vivobarefoot’s women’s models were relatively more narrow in the toe box than their men’s models and may not be suitable for all sets of feet. If any other ideas or possibilities come to mind, I will certainly let you know!

Kind regards,
Robyn Hughes, ND

February 22, 2021
Sean

You mentioned orthotic cutouts but didn’t have a reference for any. Do you have a link or know of any products of this type? This site doesn’t seem to have them.

February 22, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Sean,

Thank you for your question. At this time, we don’t have any recommendations for specific orthotic cutouts, but you might consider reaching out to a local foot care provider for this particular service and product. Most podiatrists or foot care providers will be able to assist you with this. To find a naturally-minded foot care expert, we put together this article that includes a number of key interview questions you might consider asking him or her:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/popular-q-a/what-questions-should-i-be-asking-a-prospective-foot-care-provider

Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

All the best,
Marty Hughes, DC

February 23, 2021
Stanley Eng

How do I tape or splint to control capsulitis-related pain? Where can I get the kind of tape mentioned?

February 23, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Stanley,

Thank you for your question! Taping to control capsulitis-related pain can be helpful, but many patients will, unfortunately, only experience limited improvement with this approach. In some cases, a Budin splint (taped around the arch) can be used to hold the affected toe(s) in plantarflexion. But in general, using foot-healthy footwear in combination with Correct Toes and metatarsal pads, as well as performing the Toe Extensor Stretch (www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/educational-articles/toe-extensor-stretch), will be helpful in resolving many cases of capsulitis.

I hope this info helps!

All the best,
Robyn Hughes, ND

February 23, 2021
Hiten Patel

My foot specialist (an orthopedic foot surgeon) suggested that I use a stiff-soled and flat sandal or shoe (like Birkenstocks) with a metatarsal pad to heal my chronic second toe capsulitis. I also read info from online foot specialists and watched YouTube videos that recommended using stiff-soled footwear that doesn’t bend in addition to a soft insole and a metatarsal pad that’s modified to suit the foot suffering from second toe capsulitis. Why do you suggest Lems Primal 2 shoes, which are soft-soled and bend easily? I have suffered for the past 4 years with this problem. Interestingly, my second toe capsulitis symptoms developed exactly as detailed in your articles.

February 23, 2021
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Hiten,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I’m so sorry to hear about your ongoing battle with capsulitis; I hope you’re able to achieve some lasting relief very soon.

Stiff-soled shoes may be suitable for temporary immobilization of an inflamed 2nd metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint capsule, and they can help reduce symptoms, but they are not suitable for post-acute recovery rehabilitation. A foot problem such as capsulitis is often the combined result of foot weakness along with selective overloading of the plantar 2nd MP joint, so the long-term use of stiff-soled shoes will not address the foot’s fundamental need to become strong on its own. Also, most stiff-soled shoes have heel elevation as well as toe spring (otherwise tripping will occur), so in the resultant foot configuration, the 2nd MP joint is always in a dorsiflexed position.

Something else to bear in mind: Capsulitis of the 2nd MP joint is often related to a hammertoe, or to tight toe extensor tendons, so the Toe Extensor Stretch can be helpful for this issue:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/educational-articles/toe-extensor-stretch

Metatarsal pads are also super helpful in bringing the toes back down to make good contact with the support surface (as well as getting the protective forefoot fat pad relocated under the 2nd MP joint).

So, the key here is to immobilize the affected joint capsule until symptoms abate, and then (slowly) begin to mobilize the joint using a natural foot position while monitoring your symptoms.

I hope you find this info helpful, Hiten!

All the best,
Robyn Hughes, ND

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