My toe arthritis has dramatically improved. I ate low fat, semi mcdougall in my 20's but relapsed a bit (fad diet excuses). After reading the "china study" I gave vegan (not low fat) a try for a week and my arthritis responded amazingly within that time. Hence I have a really good reason to stick with it. I was at the point where walking more than a 1/4 mile was difficult, and I replaced walking as exercise 100% with toe flex reducing cross training (bike, rollerblade, elliptical). The condition was progressing with standard treatment alone: orthotics, NSAID, icing, behavior modification.
2 years into vegan, I'm back to about 85% functionality, with ability to outwalk everyone in my family on trips, etc. I still need to be careful not to excessively flex the toe joint into the bone spurs or use excessive compressive load. Basketball or tennis would still be too difficult, but I can carefully jog, xc ski or play frisbee with the kids now If I want. I walk, bike and alpine ski fine. I've lost 20lbs and can still "pinch an inch" so need to keep going on the diet clean up. I'm hopeful the condition will not be "progressive" in the long term as is the standard prognosis.
Here are the modifications which seem to help me with a subjective % points value:
o Vegan eating (50%)
o Avoid jamming/excessive loading/shoe impingement (15%)
o Correct biomechanics. See book "Painfree" (15%)
o Orthotics (10%)
o Supplement (10%) (CosaminASU seems best)
These didn't seem to help much:
o Flax oil
o NSAIDS (some temporary symptom help, but vegan MUCH better. Gave them up prior to trying vegan.)
o Icing (helped calm down symptoms, no longer needed)
o Turf toe inserts (interfere with normal movement)
o Toe range of motion physical therapy (worsened inflamation with the bad diet)
Anyone with arthritis should try vegan and/or elimination diet IMO.
- male, middle aged active outdoorsman type
- diagnosis: hallux limitus stage 2/3, bilateral but hurts most on left (right handed)
- participate(d) in some sports unkind to toes: skiing, xc ski, rock climbing, backpacking, ww kayaking, skateboarding, yoga(?), walking (with exverted feet).
- ate standard american diet years 1-20, 35-45
- low fat, some mcdougall style 25-35
- 45+ vegan but too much fat %