Big Toe Pain Treatment

    Auteur: Podiatre Montreal

    Big Toe Pain Treatment

    Pain in the big toe is a problem frequently encountered in the clinic. Patients who arrive at the clinic with this problem often complain that they cannot bend it, that they have pain in their big toe, or that they notice a crack in their big toe.

    Big toe pain causes many inconveniences to the sufferer, such as a change in their activity routine. If you have these symptoms, there are ways to quickly reduce the pain and resume your usual activities.

    Your Podiatrist is the one who can verify if there are known clinical causes behind the pain, such as osteoarthritis or Hallux rigidus, in order to better establish his treatment plan. Solutions such as orthotics for Hallux rigidus and the prescription of manual therapy are often recommended. In all cases, he will be able to guide you better than anyone else to the best possible treatment.

    The role of the big toe

    The big toe plays an important role in the mobility of the body, especially with regard to walking – an indispensable daily activity for the average person. The participation of the big toe in the propulsion of the step is significant: as much in the sequence of movement as in the absorption of shock. It goes without saying that many people are vulnerable to developing big toe pain in the course of their lives: from the young athlete to the elderly!

    Causes and symptoms of big toe pain


    Persistent big toe pain depends in most cases on an underlying cause. It is advisable to consult as soon as possible, especially if this pain is indicative of the onset of osteoarthritis. In this case, various solutions exist to counteract the degeneration of the articular cartilage.

    Here are some of the causes encountered in patients who complain of pain in their big toe on a daily basis:

    • Osteoarthritis or arthritis of the big toe
    • Hallux rigidus (bunions): advanced stage of osteoarthritis of the big toe
    • Gout: inflammatory arthritis affecting the big toe
    • Trauma: contusion, fracture, sprain, etc.
    • Infections: ingrown toenails, wounds, etc.
    • Sesamoiditis: inflammation in the tissues of the sesamoid bone


    The area of the big toe is a place rich in nerve tissue. It is therefore normal for an imbalance in this area to cause intense pain, sometimes incapacitating for the sufferer. Here are a few symptoms:

    • Orteil rouge
    • Inflammation and swelling
    • Skin Thickening
    • Big toe cracking
    • Unable to bend the toes
    • Big toe pain
    • Seizures of unbearable pain

    Fortunately, when treated, the painful big toe has an excellent prognosis. Once again, to avoid complications such as Hallux rigidus, it is essential to consult early when the pain in the big toe does not go away, or when it comes back in fits. Many treatment solutions exist, such as orthoses for Hallux rigidus.

    Prevent complications of big toe pain

    While there are treatments for people with big toe pain, there are also ways to prevent complications related to this pain. A discussion with your Podiatrist can help you to understand this.

    The advice of the Podiatrist

    Flat and stretchy shoes

    Frequent pressure on the big toe is an important factor in the development of associated pain. A shoe in which the toes are not constrained in their movements is ideal. A high heel and a rigid fabric are, on the contrary, very harmful to the health of your big toe if they are worn on a regular basis.

    Wearing foot orthotics

    When pain persists and worsens, when it is difficult or impossible to bend the big toe, or when you notice a crack in your big toe, an orthotic can relieve your pain and prevent other complications, such as Hallux rigidus. As mentioned above, there are foot orthotics for Hallux rigidus, more specifically.

    Cold compresses

    The application of cold to a painful joint is well known to relieve pain. The use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen is also recommended when the pain is more severe.

    When should you consult for big toe pain?

    As with any health imbalance, the sooner you consult, the more likely you are to recover quickly.

    Some people with big toe pain drag it out for a long time, and eventually get used to it. Meanwhile, damage continues to accumulate in the joint, and complications that are more difficult to treat follow – surgery is possible as a last resort.

    Do not hesitate to consult your Podiatrist if your big toe pain affects your quality of life, your sports performance and your routine in general. Prevention is better than cure.

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      Podiatre Montréal
      1826 Sherbrooke O,
      Montreal, QC H3H 1E4