Why Does My Big Toe Hurt?
Pain in the big toe is a very common complaint that is treated by podiatrists. There are quite a variety of causes of pain in the big toe and, since the symptoms can mimic each other, you should see your foot specialist for the correct diagnosis and treatment.
The problems that can cause pain in the big toe can be caused by disease, injury or a structural deficiency.
Three of the most common painful conditions affecting the big toe include the following:
- Turf toe—This injury is a toe sprain that usually affects the big toe and it is more likely to occur on artificial field surfaces – which is how it got its name – but this injury can occur on any athletic surface. The injury is characterized by the ligaments around the big toe becoming inflamed or jammed from the forces experienced while pushing off from your feet while playing sports.
- Hallux Rigidus (stiff big toe)—Hallux is the Latin word for big toe, and rigidus refers to the complete rigidity of the big toe that is the hallmark of this condition. In many instances of stiff big toe, wearing properly-fitted shoes with custom-made orthotic inserts can help alleviate pain and discomfort.
- Gout—There are several types of arthritis that can cause stiffness in the big toe joint. Gouty arthritis is an inflammation of the big toe that is caused by uric acid crystals in the joint. These painful crystals are created by excess uric acid in the blood. When the acid builds up past a certain level, it crystallizes into the extremities, often affecting joints in the feet and hands. Eliminating or greatly reducing alcohol intake and avoiding foods that contain purines such as shrimp, lobster, and fatty meats can help reduce gout attacks. Keep to a healthy weight and consume fresh cherry juice and organic apple cider vinegar to help reduce blood levels of uric acid.
If you are experiencing big toe pain, your foot doctor can determine the cause, so set up a consultation with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!