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Why does my Big Toe Hurt?

Toe pain? There are many reasons you might experience toe pain. It is important to determine the cause so that you can fix or control the problem. Here are some possible causes and treatments. The joint of the big foot is the most common site for arthritis in the foot. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the cartilage, lining, and bones of the body. It can cause redness, warmth and swelling. To push off every step, your big toe must be present. If this joint becomes stiffened, it can make walking difficult. Gout is a type of arthritis that can cause severe toe pain.

What is Gout?

Gout is caused by excess uric acid crystals that build up around the joints of the big toe. It can be so severe that you may have to wrap a blanket around your toe. Gout is a condition that affects more men than women. A toe defect can cause severe toe pain. Toe deformities include hammertoe, claw-toe and mallettoe. These conditions cause the toes curling or bending in an abnormal position. These conditions can affect different toe joints and the pain can be severe. Toe pain can also be caused by an ingrown toenail.

This happens when the toenail grows into a toe’s flesh. It is most common in the big toe. Ingrown toenails can be caused by: trauma to the toe, poor nail care, improper nail cutting, poorly fitting shoes, curvilinear toenails, and hereditary factors. This condition can often cause pain in the toe. Hallux rigidus refers to an immovable big foot. Hallux limitus is when the motion is restricted but still allows for some movement.


The articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones. Injury or continuous wear can cause cartilage to become damaged and allow the bones and joints to rub together. This prevents bone growths and bone spurs from forming. It also doesn’t allow the toes to bend. This stress can lead to pain at the toe and bunions or calluses. It can alter the biomechanics of your walking, which can lead to pain in the foot, ankle, knee and hip as well as lower back. Metatarsalgia, which causes pain in the toes and usually manifests as numbness or tingling, is another condition.

It occurs when nerves at the metatarsal heads of the feet become irritated, compressed, or both. Metatarsalgia of the toes is most commonly treated with foot orthotics for pain in the ball of the foot. These problems can alter the mechanics of the gait cycle in a way that causes problems further up the chain, to the feet, ankles and knees, hips, hips, back, or to the feet.

What to do?

What can I do to reduce my toe pain? Some pain relief may be achieved by applying ice to the affected areas and using anti-inflammatory medication. These are temporary remedies. To reduce pressure on your toes, make sure you select a shoe that has a large toe box. Some shoe types, such a shoes with a stiff sole or a rocker base, may be able to help with toe problems. If your toe pain is caused by foot alignment, your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist or pedorthist.


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