Abductor Hallucis Tendinopathy
Your abductor hallucis (from hallux, meaning ‘big toe’) is a muscle that spans your arch, beginning at the inner aspect of your heel and attaching to the inner side of your big toe. It helps to move the big toe sideways (like when you splay your feet to grip onto the ground), supports your arch and foot with every step you take, and supports a massive amount of weight (among more technical functions that help).
Abductor hallucis tendinopathy (AHT) describes damage to the abductor hallucis muscle from overloading. This condition is often overlooked because its symptoms closely resemble those of plantar fasciitis, a common cause of pain in the arch of the foot.
AHT is typically an overuse injury. When the tendon is overloaded from excess or repetitive strain and pressure, micro-tears and damage results and painful symptoms and inflammation begin. This overuse may be caused by:
Symptoms typically include:
Treatment begins with relieving the painful symptoms by following the PRICE principles (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation). The focus is then on facilitating the healing and repair of the tendon, and reduce the likelihood of future recurrence. This may involve: