IF you've been with us all along you know this one by heart. All you have to do is test it to confirm (never assume, ever !).
And remember, sometimes people present with their problem, and sometimes they present with a layered compensation to strategize and cope with the underlying problem. It is your job to determine that.
You must recognize here:
flexible hammer toe early development. It is a compensation for weakness somewhere in the chain. It is a gripping strategy to make up for something somewhere. It is not normal, it is a clue.
1- over activity of the short extensors & and long flexors
2- under activity of the long extensors & and short flexors
3- thusly, distal displacement of the Metatarsal fat pad complex
4- and lotsa other things (but we will not detract from the major cursory observation point here today)
Loading this forefoot is troubled, in many ways...... so many that we will not go it here. We have written about these things in long form so many times, just head over to the blog and search. This client did not have any foot or ankle issues, they had impaired hip rotation and extension and were complaining of low back pain. They have obviously been coping through the entire chain for awhile. Be Sherlock Holmes in your practice today, look for the clues.