Tuesday, 27 December 2022 00:00

Facts About MPJ Joint Pain in the Big Toe

Pain and stiffness in the joint that attaches the big toe to the first long bone of the foot is a condition known as hallux rigidus. The discomfort in what is termed the first metatarsophalangeal joint, or MPJ, is frequently caused by degenerative arthritis. Symptoms include difficulty moving the joint up and down, swelling behind the big toe, and soreness when walking or running. In some cases, bone spurs develop on top of the first metatarsal bone. Hallux rigidus often results from overuse of the MPJ joint and the damage that causes. Studies have shown that women may have this condition in both feet, possibly as the result of the long-term wearing of high-heeled shoes or because of genetics. If recognized in the early stages, hallux rigidus symptoms can be treated non-surgically. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and making adjustments in footwear can help to reduce MPJ pain. Wearing shoes with a larger toe box and avoiding high heels help to take the pressure off the joint. In addition, custom orthotics can make walking and running less painful. For more information, please consult a chiropodist.

Toe pain is common and can have a variety of causes. Causes can range from a broken toe to an ingrown toenail. Many types of toe pain can be corrected, but any toe pain that inhibits your activities for an extended period should be discussed with a chiropodist. If you suffer from toe pain, please consult with Paul A. Scotti, D.Ch from West Toronto Foot & Ankle Clinic Inc. . Our chiropodist can help you maintain the health of your feet.

Common Causes of Toe Pain 

  • Trauma or fracture
  • Cuts, sores, or bruises
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Turf Toe
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Blisters
  • Corns
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts
  • Athlete’s Foot

Symptoms of Toe Pain

  • Toe deformity
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Toenail deformity
  • Wart or ulcer
  • Swelling
  • Redness

When to See a Chiropodist

  • Bleeding or severe swelling
  • Trauma, such as a broken bone
  • Discoloration or extreme swelling
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Persistent pain
  • Wounds that won’t heal

Diagnosis of Toe Pain

A chiropodist can conduct a thorough examination of the painful toe or toes in order to determine the best course of treatment. The exam may include assessing the tenderness of the area, taking an X-ray or other diagnostic test, or assessing your gait and range of motion. A discussion of what led to the advanced pain issue may follow. Included will likely be a health history, as well as a list of medications you are taking and other previous injuries you may have sustained.

Treatment for Toe Pain

With such a wide range of possible causes for toe pain, treatment can be varied in scope and length. Sometimes, the chiropodist will recommend lifestyle and activity changes. In cases of trauma or other injuries, X-rays or imaging tests will likely be used to determine the severity of the problem, particularly if any bones have been broken. Treatment may also include injections of pain-relief medication or anti-inflammatory drugs. Certain injuries will require the splinting, bracing, or wrapping of injured toes. Orthotics or special shoes may be prescribed in cases of bone deformities and gait issues. Removal of warts, calluses, and corns may be needed. In other cases, such as with patients who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, ongoing treatment may be required to avoid more serious problems. 

Read more about Toe Pain

Connect With Us