Tuesday, 07 February 2023 00:00

Common Causes of Toe Joint Pain

The most common location of toe joint pain is in the big toe, also known as the hallux. This is likely because the big toe absorbs about 90% of the body’s weight with each step. The most common types of toe joint pain are gout, bunions, and hammertoes. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by having too much uric acid in the body. The uric acid forms crystals in the joints, and the big toe is often a target. The toe swells and reddens and becomes extremely painful. Bunions and hammertoes are bone deformities, believed to be caused by genetic factors. Wearing improperly fitting footwear is also a contributor. With a bunion, the bottom of the big toe pushes outward, forming a bump, while pushing the top part of the toe in the opposite direction. A bunion can be quite painful when walking and often causes other foot problems. Hammertoes result from an imbalance between the muscle and tendon, usually in the second or third toe. This causes the tip of the toe to curl under, while the middle joint rises. Pain is felt when the raised joint rubs against the inside of the shoe. For help with these types of toe pain, 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. 

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