Can a jaw injury contribute to metatarsalgia?

by Lynn
(Los Angeles)

I was hit hard on my right jaw decades ago and noticed that whenever I have pain or other localized health issues, it's always on the right side. All tightened muscles are also on the right side. I have an inflamed nerve between my 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. When I get any kind of massage or realignment such as at the chiropractor or simply spreading my second and third toe, my jaw relaxes and I hear cracking/popping sounds. I have to wonder if the issues on the right could be related to the jaw injury.

However, my body parts are slightly smaller on the right as well--feet, face, etc. It's not noticeable to others unless I point it out, but it's measurable. Curious about the potential connection. The xray of my foot show the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones very close together, practically touching on my right foot.

Hello Lynn,
My initial reaction is to deny any relationship, but you obviously convinced, so I hesitate to poo-poo your question. The foot is connected to the leg, the knee, the hip and so on. So a guarded, yes, maybe.

Does your chiropractor work on your feet? What you are describing is a condition called metatarsalgia, with possibly a Morton's neuroma; they usually respond quite well to adjustments to the foot bones.

Try our alphabet exercises which you'll find using the search function at chiropractic help.

Thank you for your interesting question.

Dr B

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Jul 24, 2016
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Jaw injury related to foot problems?
by: Anonymous

Thank you. I can only say that my jaw involuntarily relaxes on the right side whenever any right side knots or my metatarsal are manipulated it massaged. It's just a fact, and I'm interested in discovering the reason.

I don't currently see a chiropractor, but I have in the past. They knew about the foot condition, and it didn't improve under their care. However, after seeing that the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals were jammed up against eachother on an exray, I recently began speaking those 2 toes several times per day and sometimes placing a small pad between them to keep them from being too close. When I initially misremembered the problem as being between the 3rd and 4th and spread those, it got worse. So working with the correct toes made it a lot better. Also, simply putting my fingertips under the right side of my for foot amd pulling up a little to help spread the metatarsal helps immediately.

I'm going to experiment with relaxing my tight right jaw to see if that also helps my foot. ND I'm going to start wearing clean supportive padded shoes inside the house rather than going barefoot as ll the time to keep the floors clean. I'd like to add a shoe liner/orthotic and am trying to figure out which is best.

I'm also probably going to start getting weekly Thai massages to see if those help overall. Reluctant to give up coffee, but wondering if the caffeine can aggravage the tension. I do wear a dental night guard as I started clenching and grinding after that injury.

In the long run, if something works, that's all I want. I am willing to try everything at once and just drop things one by one to see if things get worse if I do. I'd rather do that than just try one thing at a time to see if it works. So far, the thing that works most is to spread those two toes and wear padded, supportive shoes. Also, I sit cross legged a lot with my knees resting on my forefeet and that compresses them side to side. So wearing shoes with a wide toe box prevents this.

A chiropractor I was previously seeing for a different injury advised me that having treatment on the jaw could possibly end my clenching and grinding. I'm going to try to find one who specializes in TMJ and see if that affects the foot.

You'll also find TMJ exercises at Chiropractic Help; use the site search function. It's always good to take responsibility for one own health; sometimes though professional help is needed and then, the longer you put it off, the more difficult it gets.

Dr b



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