What is Abductor Hallucis and What is its Function?
When talking of the Abductor Hallucis Muscle, this muscle traverses from the medial border of each foot and covers the origin of most of the nerves and vessels of the sole of the foot. Abductor Hallucis Muscle stems from the medial processes of the calcaneal tuberosity, which is a part of the heel bone and the flexor digitorum brevis muscle. These muscles terminate in a tendon which enters the first phalanx of the big toe along with Flexor Hallucis Brevis tendon. The function of the Abductor Hallucis Muscle is to abduct the big toe. This muscle plays a vital role in facilitating a good posture and helps with the gait of an individual. It does this by supporting the medial arch of the foot. The most common injury to this muscle is Abductor Hallucis Strain which tends to cause severe pain in the foot and also results in overpronation of the foot. Best methods to treat Abductor Hallucis Strain are by massage therapy, taping, gels, NSAIDS etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Abductor Hallucis Strain
Some of the symptoms which would suggest a damaged or strained Abductor Hallucis Muscle are:
- Pain on the inside part of the heels
- Pain in the inside half of the ankles
- Gait dysfunction with a definite limp.
What can Cause Abductor Hallucis Strain?
Some of the activities that can cause damage or strain the Abductor Hallucis Muscle are:
- Running or ambulating on uneven surfaces
- Wearing shoes that are way smaller than the normal size of the individual
- Females wearing high heels are also prone to injure and strain the Abductor Hallucis Muscles
- If an individual has a previous history of an injury to the ankle and as a result has a weak ankle can also strain the Abductor Hallucis Muscle.
Risk Factors of Abductor Hallucis Strain
Some of the medical conditions that can be caused by a Strained Abductor Hallucis Muscle are:
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bone Spurs
- Flatfeet deformity
- Morton's Foot
- Diabetic Neuropathy, only in diabetics
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
What is the Treatment for Abductor Hallucis Strain?
Below mentioned are some of the methods for treating a Strained Abductor Hallucis Muscle.
- Rest is important for healing Abductor Hallucis Strain.
- Taping of foot is beneficial as it helps take the load off of the arch of foot and promotes quick healing Strained Abductor Hallucis.
- Insoles can be worn to prevent overpronation.
- Cold Therapy: There are many forms of gels and cold packs available in the market and over the counter which can go a long way in helping with treatment of Strained Abductor Hallucis Muscle. The gels that are available are normally used immediately after an injury or strain as it immediately cools the area and prevents swelling from developing in the area. It has been proved such gels or coolants have healed injuries to the Abductor Hallucis Muscle twice quickly than normal application of ice and the pain relief is more longer lasting. The gel is used by rubbing it at the injured site up to the ankle for optimum results.
- Warm Therapy: This type of therapy can also be used for treating Abductor Hallucis Strain. This gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the area. It works fantastically well in relieving pain and stiffness post an injury to the Abductor Hallucis Muscle. This gel needs to be put at the bottom of the foot and rubbed through to the ankle for best results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin.
- Foot Wrap: This can be used for compression of the Strained Abductor Hallucis Muscle. Immediate compression helps a great deal in reducing pain and inflammation and also prevents development of swelling in the foot and ankle region due to the Abductor Hallucis Strain.
- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen help in decreasing pain and inflammation
- Ultrasound can be used to reduce pain and calm down the inflammation.
- Sports massage to foot can be done by a professional. It helps in faster healing.
- Patient should start a rehabilitation program after the healing is complete.