3 Causes of Big Toe Pain


Big toe pain is one of the most common complaints treated by foot doctors. Many factors can contribute to big toe problems, including injury, systemic diseases like arthritis, and structural abnormalities.

3 common causes of big toe pain include the following:

  • GoutThis inflammation of the joints is caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in the blood that may be caused by eating foods high in purines and from drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages. When uric acid reaches saturation level, it crystallizes out into the joints with the big toe frequently being affected. The toe can become so sensitive and painful with swelling and redness that just brushing a sheet over it causes severe pain.
  • Turf toeThis is a toe sprain that usually affects the big toe and would often occur to athletes playing on artificial turf, which is how it got the name.
  • Hallux rigidus— or stiff big toe—This is the most common type of arthritis in the foot, affecting 1 in 40 folks over the age of 50. Hallux means big toe, and rigidus refers to the total stiffness of the big toe that is caused by arthritis at the base of the big toe. A stiff big toe can be treated by wearing correctly sized and fitted shoes and by using the right orthotic inserts.

If you are experiencing big toe pain, contact your foot doctor can determine the cause and best course of treatment. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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