Let’s Talk About Why Toes Are So Weird

Illustration by Angelica Alzona/GMG

It’s time to speak about toes here on Burning Questions, that should be a service to anyone who has review a final few installments. As always, I’m here to answer a questions we would feel uncanny seeking anybody else.

Today’s doubt is from a reader whose toes bewilder him.

The toes on your feet? You can substantially shake all of them, individually. You can substantially twist them adult so many that we can radically censor them underneath your foot. It seems like everybody has this dexterity.

I do not.

I can't twist my toes, we can't away shake any toe, we can't censor them underneath my feet or twist them adult on a carpet, or anything like that!

I don’t know because or what it is, we feel like a alloy would usually tell me to widen more, though my large toe can usually go so distant behind before it hurts, and it isn’t much. My feet are fine, we don’t have a singular condition or anything else I’m wakeful of that is over asthma.

Trying to hunt this on google leads to nothing, I’ve never asked my alloy though I’ve been so extraordinary to know if it is called something and how to get that coherence in my feet.

Actually, we can’t shake all of my toes individually. we can pierce my large toe alone from a other four, though that’s it. Are other people means to shake their toes some-more dextrously than a dual of us? The Little Mermaid can, though I’m not certain that she counts.


So we asked a questioner if he could send a video to see if his toes are indeed newsworthy. we approaching I’d usually have to mangle it to him that not all of us have elegant, flexible, ballet-ready toes. But afterwards he showed me this. Nope, that’s not normal.

It seems a minute author can’t hook his toes during all. He told me in a after email that he approaching a experts we consulted to immediately commend it: “I would consider they would say, ‘oh that’s a classical box of _______’. we suspicion this shit would have a name!”


This shit does not have a name. Let’s go by a possibilities for what’s going on here from scariest to many reassuring, and we’ll finish with a ways in that all of us are deficient compared to animation mermaids.

The Serious Stuff

“If he had had a dire damage or was experiencing serious behind pain and unexpected mislaid a ability to pierce his toes, we would consternation if he had a spinal cord damage or was exceedingly compressing a nerve, though this does not seem a box for him,” says earthy therapist Jasmine Marcus. Another earthy therapist, Jason Kart, adds that tarsal hovel syndrome is one form of haughtiness application that can outcome in problems tortuous a toes. Problems with a mind could also means difficulty activating muscles in a feet, he says, “but there’ll be a garland of other unequivocally uncanny symptoms going along with that.”

Gout and bunions can also means issues with toe mobility, though nothing of those seem to be a box either.

Stretching and Strengthening

Marcus asked either a questioner can hook his toes passively, by grabbing them with his hands and relocating them into position. “If they can, his emanate is some-more expected robust and we would suggest stretching and strengthening a muscles in his feet.” Indeed, he can hook them passively, though his large toe doesn’t hook as many and tends to make a gnawing sound if we force it.


“Keep stretching, though it’s probable that something is not utterly right with a toe joints, such as arthritis,” she says. Kart adds that a tiny bone coax is also a possibility.

Both concluded that a questioner would do good to try stretching and strengthening a muscles in his feet and reduce legs. If your toes don’t hook good when we walk, your legs and hips might have to recompense in ways that can lead to damage down a line. And a retreat can also happen: problems in a legs can lead to problems in a feet.

At one indicate in a conversation, a crony remarkable that he has never had any other problems with his legs aside from shin splints. “Now a tru[th] comes out!” pronounced Kart. Shin splints are some-more common in people with prosaic feet, and prosaic feet go hand-in-hand (er, foot) with over-stretched muscles on a bottom of a feet. The muscles that should be curling a toes might simply be too diseased to do their job.


Whatever a cause, exercises for a toes are expected to assistance during slightest a small bit, by augmenting strength, flexibility, and maybe a small bit of engine control that can assistance a letter-writer start to dream of wiggling his toes. One approach to start: toe yoga.

OK, But What’s Normal?

Is it unequivocally so surprising to have toes that are a small inflexible, or that we can’t pierce individually? That’s indeed totally normal, says Kart:

As a earthy therapist, we see feet all day. There are many variations in structure. Just try out to a beach and you’ll see what we mean. Some of these variations are genetic, some are acquired mechanically from your walking pattern. There is a far-reaching operation of normal here.

The miss of ability to shake your toes away is not an emanate unless we are a [non-human] primate. Our large toe has some muscles that are dedicated to a movement, so that will pierce by itself. Unlike a hand, a other toes have fundamentally a few muscles that are dedicated to all of them together. (That’s because we can’t give your crony a center toe.)

That’s it for this installment of Burning Questions. If we have blazing questions of your own, email them to me during beth.skwarecki@lifehacker.com (please put BURNING QUESTION in a theme line), or dump them into a unknown form during bethskw.sarahah.com.

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Posted by on Dec 2 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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