Why is my big toe swollen and painful? Big toe pain is often the result of injury or minor underlying medical conditions. Arthritis, fractures, and gout may all cause big toe pain. Most cases of big toe pain are easily treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. However, some causes, such as sesamoiditis, may require more in-depth clinical treatment.
- 1 Why does it hurt to straighten my big toe?
- 2 When should I see a doctor for big toe pain?
- 3 How do you know if you tore a tendon in your big toe?
- 4 How do I know if my toe pain is serious?
- 5 What is toe dystonia?
- 6 What is Sesamoiditis of the foot?
- 7 How do you treat a stiff big toe?
Why does it hurt to straighten my big toe?
Gout – Gout is a metabolic condition that commonly affects the big toe joint. The medical term for gout in the MTP joint is podagra. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood that crystallizes and builds up in joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this can be due to diet and certain medical conditions, specifically:
obesity congestive heart failure hypertension diabetes or insulin resistance metabolic syndrome reduced kidney function
Gout can also result from excessive alcohol, a high fructose diet, and purine-rich foods such as organ meat and red meat. Medications such as diuretics and cyclosporine can also increase your risk of gout, per The American College of Rheumatology, Symptoms include intense pain, swelling, and tenderness around your big toe joint.
The area may be inflamed, hot, and discolored. Sometimes symptoms are sudden and severe, especially at night. You may wish to take NSAIDs to ease pain and inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe additional specific medications to treat the uric acid deposit and production, or steroids. To reduce uric acid buildup, follow a balance diet that includes plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and fiber.
Reduce your intake of red meat and seafood. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or sugar, and increase your water intake.
Why do my toes hurt when I stretch them?
If the extensor tendons become irritated and inflamed, it can become painful to curl your toes in a downward motion, as this will stretch the inflamed tendons beyond their capacity. Sometimes, extensor tendinitis will also cause swelling across the top of the foot.
When should I see a doctor for big toe pain?
When To See A Doctor – If your pain is severe, you should seek immediate attention. This is also true for severe swelling, and any evidence of infection including redness. You should also make an emergency visit if you are unable to place any weight on your foot.
During less serious situations, you should still schedule an office visit if you are experiencing pain that has not improved after several weeks or swelling that has lasted for several days. You should also see a doctor if you are dealing with numbness or tingling in your foot. At Orthopedic Associates We Can Help If you are experiencing pain for any of these issues of the foot, we encourage you to visit us at Orthopedic Associates,
Our collection of board-certified doctors has a combined 183 years of experience. This is beneficial in our ability to design an effective plan of treatment for a wide range of foot conditions. Visit one of Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today.
Why does my big toe hurt at the joint when I walk?
Is pain in your feet a sign of diabetes? – Pain in your feet is not always a sign of diabetes. The pain in your feet due to diabetes is most commonly caused by decreased circulation and nerve damage. “Great doctor! He worked with me to avoid surgery when I first went there (unlike other doctors who led me to believe that I had no other option!), and when it was apparent that surgery was necessary on the other foot, it went very well.
How do you know if you tore a tendon in your big toe?
Symptoms Of a Torn Toe Tendon – Here’s a look at four symptoms that are usually present when a person tears a tendon in their big toe.1. Pain – Pain is the most obvious symptom because you feel it with each step, and it may even be painful when you’re not putting pressure on it.
- Pain will be housed in your first metatarsal-phalangeal joint, as well as in your big toe.
- You’ll also notice pain underneath the big toe when you bear weight on the foot.
- Eeping pressure off your foot and taking over-the-counter pain relievers are a good way to help limit the pain from a torn toe tendon.2.
Swelling – You may also notice some swelling in the big toe when comparing it side by side to the big toe on your other foot. Swelling can range from mild to severe based on the extent of the tendon damage. Icing and taking anti-inflammatory medications are two great ways to help keep swelling under control.3.
Inhibited Range of Motion – A working tendon helps facilitate range of motion in the toe, so if it is damaged you may not be able to move the toe as easily. Similarly, the above two points can make it difficult or too painful to extend your toe to its normal range of motion. You can try to increase your range of motion by practicing range of motion exercises.
For example, try to write the alphabet in the air using your big toe as an imaginary pen.4. Abnormal Gait – If a torn tendon leads to any of the above symptoms, it will also likely affect your ability to walk as you normally would. Odds are your gait will change as you compensate for the pain or the inhibited range of motion in your toe.
How do I know if my toe pain is serious?
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if: –
pain in your toe is stopping you doing normal activitiesthe pain is getting worse or keeps coming backthe pain has not improved after treating it at home for 2 weeksyou have diabetes and foot pain – foot problems can be more serious if you have diabetes
What we mean by severe pain Severe pain:
always there and so bad it’s hard to think or talkyou cannot sleepit’s very hard to move, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash or dress
always theremakes it hard to concentrate or sleepyou can manage to get up, wash or dress
comes and goesis annoying but does not stop you doing daily activities
What is toe dystonia?
Curled, clenched toes or a painful cramped foot are telltale signs of dystonia. Dystonia is a sustained or repetitive muscle twisting, spasm or cramp that can occur at different times of day and in different stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dystonia can also be the result of brain trauma, a stroke, a reaction to a medication or other causes.
Why do my feet hurt when I straighten?
Extensor Tendonitis: Top of the Foot Pain When Running – Experiencing top of the foot pain when running is a common complaint among walkers, runners, and other exercisers. Top of foot pain is usually felt right under your shoelaces and has various causes.
Can you pull a tendon in your big toe?
What are the types of turf toe injuries? – Healthcare providers use a grading system to classify turf toe injuries. The grade helps determine the most effective treatment plan. The types of turf toe injuries are:
Grade 1: Typically soft tissue is stretched, but not torn. The area is sensitive when you touch it. It may be mildly swollen. You may have mild limitations with sports and exercises abilities. Grade 2: The soft tissue complex partially tears. The area has intense and more diffuse tenderness and is often swollen and bruised. You’ll be more limited with sports and exercises. Grade 3: Soft tissues more completely torn. The MTP joint may be dislocated. Swelling and pain in the toe are severe. It’s very difficult to move the toe, let alone exercise or play sports.
Your healthcare provider examines your toe and gently pushes on the area to check for tenderness. You may be asked to move your toe to test your range of motion. To check for damage in the bones and soft tissues, your provider may order an X-ray or scan. These tests produce images of bones, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues. If you had a sudden injury, your provider will ask you how it happened. Be sure to share as many details as you can remember, including how your toe was planted and where you felt pain.
Most sprained toe injuries heal with time and plenty of rest. Grades 1 and 2 turf toe injuries usually get better with noninvasive treatments that you can do at home. Your provider may recommend:
Rest: Ask your provider how long you should avoid putting weight on your foot. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to take a break from sports and activities for several days or weeks. Your provider can give you a walking boot or crutches to use while your toe heals. Ice and elevation: Every few hours, relax with your foot above your heart. Apply a cold compress to your toe for about 20 minutes at a time. Ice reduces swelling and pain. Elevating your toe reduces inflammation. Over-the-counter pain medication: Talk to your provider about taking, These over-the-counter medications relieve pain and reduce swelling. Physical therapy (PT): An experienced physical therapist will give you exercises and stretches to help your toe heal. A customized PT program includes exercises to reduce stiffness, improve flexibility and strengthen muscles that support the MTP joint. Stabilization: Ask your provider to show you how to tape your big toe to your smaller toes. This turf toe taping technique restricts motion while your toe heals. When you do return to activities, be sure to wear sturdy, supportive footwear. Orthotics: Your provider may recommend special inserts that fit into your shoe. Orthotics stabilize and support your toe joint while you’re running, jumping or playing sports. Surgery: Rarely, a turf toe injury requires surgery to repair severe tears, fractures or joint damage. The type of surgery depends on the injury’s location and which bones and soft tissues have the damage.
You may not always be able to prevent turf toe, especially when it results from an accident. To reduce your risk of turf toe, wear shoes that provide enough stability for your activity. Football and soccer players should avoid shoes that are too flexible, especially in the toe area.
Before an activity or sport, take time to stretch and warm up. When muscles and soft tissues are warm, they’re less likely to get injured. If you play sports (such as football, gymnastics or ballet) that increase your risk of turf toe, talk to your provider. A physical therapist can help you lower your chances of injury.
Many people with turf toe do not have long-term problems after recovering from the injury. Some people continue to have joint stiffness, weakness or big toe pain (). Rarely, the big toe sticks up from the others and doesn’t lie flat on the floor when standing.
Call your healthcare provider if you have pain, swelling or bruising in your toe or foot. Even if the pain is mild, it’s important to get evaluated so your provider can recommend the right treatment plan. See your provider right away if pain is severe, you can’t put weight on your foot or the toe joint looks dislocated.
A note from Cleveland Clinic A turf toe injury can put you on the sidelines for days or weeks. But with self-care and proper treatment, turf toe injuries usually heal without long-term problems. It’s essential to follow your physical therapist’s instructions and give your body plenty of time to heal.
What is a Morton’s toe?
Morton’s toe gets its name from the first orthopedic surgeon to officially describe the condition—Dudley Morton. If your second toe is longer than your big toe, then you have Morton’s toe, Usually, this congenital condition doesn’t cause any problems. Understanding Morton’s Toe Your foot has five long bones that connect each toe to the midfoot. These bones are called metatarsals. Your big toe is connected to the first metatarsal, and your second toe is connected to the second metatarsal, and so on. Morton’s toe doesn’t involve an anatomical abnormality with the second metatarsal, but rather with the first.
If the first metatarsal is shorter than usual, then the big toe will be shorter—consequently, the second toe looks longer than it should be. Identifying Possible Complications Many people with Morton’s toe never see a foot doctor for this condition, as it doesn’t always cause symptoms. In severe cases, Morton’s toe can cause changes in the way a person walks.
This imbalance results in excess pressure placed on the second toe or the ball of the foot. The complications that can occur from changes in gait can range from calluses and corns to hammertoes. Hammertoes are characterized by the bent position of the toes.
- Initially, it’s possible to stretch out hammertoes.
- Over time, the muscles tighten to the point at which they cannot be manually flexed.
- If hammertoes become permanent, corrective surgery may be needed.
- Trying Nonsurgical Treatment Options Most patients with Morton’s toe will do well with a change in footwear.
Foot doctors recommend wearing comfortable shoes that feature a wide, deep toe box. This will give the toes plenty of space. You may also need metatarsal pads, or custom orthotic inserts to achieve proper foot alignment. Exploring Surgical Correction If Morton’s toe is causing significant problems, and a change in footwear isn’t enough, a foot surgeon may perform a surgery that involves shortening the second metatarsal bone.
What is Sesamoiditis of the foot?
Sesamoiditis: What Is It, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones in the ball of the foot and the tendons they are embedded in. It’s usually caused by overuse, especially by dancers, runners and athletes who frequently bear weight on the balls of their feet.
It’s treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Sesamoiditis is a specific kind of — inflammation of the tendons — that occurs in the ball of the foot. Because the tendons in the ball of the foot have small sesamoid bones embedded in them, these bones can become inflamed along with the tendons.
The two pea-sized sesamoid bones sit under the big toe joint, where they provide leverage when the tendons load weight onto the ball of the foot. Activities that frequently transfer weight to the ball of the foot — including running, dancing and walking in high heels — can overstress these tendons and bones, causing inflammation and pain.
What is tendonitis in the toe?
Foot Tendonitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention Foot tendonitis is inflammation in any of the tendons in your foot. The most common are the Achilles, peroneal, extensor and posterior tibial tendons. An irritated foot tendon is usually the result of overuse and can lead to pain and swelling.
: Affects the tendon connecting your calf muscle and heel bone. This tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. It helps us run, jump, walk and do other activities that require us to rise up on our toes. Extensor tendonitis: Irritation of the tendon that runs along the top of your foot. These tendons attach bones at the front of your leg to your toes. Peroneal tendonitis: Inflammation in either of the two tendons that run along your outer ankle bone. They connect to your midfoot and your arch to help with stability. Posterior tibial tendonitis: Affects the tendon that connects your calf muscle to bones on the inside of your foot. These tendons help hold up the arch of your foot. : Pain at the underside of your heel and within the arch of your foot. While this is technically not a tendon but a ligament, it can produce the same type of painful conditions that present like tendonitis, with similar treatment approaches.
Anyone can get foot tendonitis, but it’s more common in athletes or very active individuals who overuse the tendons. You’re also more likely to develop foot tendonitis if you:
Are, Don’t stretch before physical activity. Don’t stretch after physical activity. Have certain health conditions, such as,, or, Have, Have had previous tendon injuries. Have tight tendons and muscles in your legs. or use tobacco products.
Achilles tendonitis is the most common type of foot tendonitis. Studies suggest it affects anywhere from 1% to 9% of elite and recreational athletes. Foot tendonitis is usually chronic, meaning it develops over time when you put repeated stress on the tendons in your foot.
(small formations of extra bone near the tendon). Pain along the length of the tendon or where the tendon attaches to the bone. Pain that gets worse with physical activity. Stiffness in the tendon after periods of inactivity, such as first thing in the morning. Swelling, redness or warmth around the tendon. Thickening of the tendon.
Severely overstretching or a sudden injury to a tendon can lead to a rupture, causing the tendon to partially or fully break. A tendon rupture in your foot needs medical attention. Talk to your healthcare provider if you:
Can’t put weight on your foot. Can’t move your foot in a certain direction. Have severe foot pain. Noticed a snapping or popping sensation in your foot at the time of injury.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and review your symptoms. They may palpate (press) on certain parts of your foot, ankle or calf. They’re checking for areas of swelling and tenderness. Your provider may also ask you to perform certain movements to assess your range of motion, strength and the severity of your pain.
- If your provider suspects you may have a foot or a torn tendon, they may recommend imaging exams such as an X-ray,, or,
- For many of the tendons in your foot, if not torn, an ultrasound is often the test of choice to see how the tendon moves and what types of injury or degenerative changes are causing your pain.
In most cases, your healthcare provider will recommend at-home treatments such as RICE to manage foot tendon pain:
Rest: Stop physical activity to avoid further damaging the tendons in your foot. Ice: Put an ice pack or cold compress on your foot for up to 20 minutes at a time. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin. Compression: Reduce swelling by applying a compression bandage or wrap around the injured tendon. Elevation: Lift your foot into an elevated position, preferably above the level of your heart.
Once your healthcare provider diagnoses your injury, they may recommend additional treatments such as:
Calf stretches or exercises. Orthotics (special shoe inserts) to reduce pain and support your foot as you get back to physical activity. Non-narcotic, Physical therapy to regain range of motion, strength, stability and flexibility in your foot, ankle and calf. Soft or boot to immobilize your foot and let the tendons heal.
Most people don’t need surgery for foot tendonitis. But your healthcare provider may recommend surgery if your injury hasn’t improved after six months of nonsurgical treatments. Surgical treatments may include:
Gastrocnemius recession: This procedure surgically lengthens your calf muscle. It may help people with flat feet or relieve stress on the Achilles tendon. Tenosynovectomy: This surgery debrides (cleans) a damaged tendon. A surgeon removes damaged tissue and stitches the healthy tissues back together. Tendon transfer: If your tendon is severely injured, you may need a tendon transfer. A surgeon removes most of the damaged tendon, then takes a healthy tendon from elsewhere in your foot and attaches it to the remaining part of the original tendon. Ultrasound-Guided Hydroresection (TenJet): If your tendon isn’t torn, but contains a degenerative material called tendinosis, your provider may recommend an office-based procedure to debride that degenerative tissue. This is performed under ultrasound guidance in the office.
You can reduce your risk of foot tendonitis by:
Not pushing through pain. Let pain be your guide. Gradually working up to intense physical activity. Maintaining a, Not overworking your tendons. or using tobacco products. Resting between workouts. Stretching before physical activity. Stretching after physical activity. Using proper technique when playing sports. Wearing supportive shoes that fit, including orthotics if recommended by your healthcare provider.
Most people recover fully from foot tendonitis without any permanent damage. You can expect tendon injuries to heal with conservative treatments within a few months. If you have surgery, your recovery period could take from six to 12 months. Most people need physical therapy following surgery.
Are unable to walk or bear weight on your foot. Can’t bend or flex your toes or ankle. Feel or hear a snapping or popping sensation or sound in your foot or ankle. Have severe pain in your foot, ankle or calf. Notice swelling in your foot, ankle or calf.
A note from Cleveland Clinic Foot tendonitis occurs when you overstretch the tough bands of connective tissue in your foot. It’s a fairly common overuse injury in athletes, but it can also affect older individuals with conditions like flat feet or arthritis.
What arthritis is felt in the big toe first?
Hallux rigidus means ‘stiff big toe’ — the main symptom of the disorder. Hallux rigidus is a type of degenerative arthritis, a common type of arthritis. It’s sometimes called ‘big toe arthritis.’
What does a torn ligament in your big toe feel like?
Symptoms of a Broken Toe – If you have a broken toe: A broken toe is a fractured bone, This type of injury results in either a very limited range of motion or even the inability to move the toe at all. In addition, the toe will swell and bruise. It’ll hurt to walk and the pain and swelling will persist for days without any signs of improvement. You may also feel a burning sensation.
How long does it take for a big toe tendon to heal?
– You’ll usually recover from a grade 1 injury in a few days to a week. Grade 2 injuries usually take a few weeks to fully heal. You may not be allowed to play sports or do any exercise for 2 or more weeks. Grade 3 injuries can take months to heal. You may need to wear a cast for 6 or more weeks and have several follow-up appointments before your doctor allows you to play sports or exercise again.
What does a torn toe tendon feel like?
Tendon Tear Symptoms – When tendon damage occurs, movement may be seriously limited. Typical symptoms of tendon tears include:
A snap or pop at the affected area Severe and excruciating pain Immediate bruising Pain and discomfort that worsens with tendon use A “crunchy” sound or feeling (crepitus) with tendon use Severe weakness Reduced range of motion Inability to bear weight, especially in Achilles Tendon Tear Increased pain and stiffness at night or early morning Inflammation with tenderness, redness and feeling of warmth
Can you straighten bent big toe?
If you have crooked toes, you can treat them with pads that help straighten out the toes and by wearing shoes that give your toes lots of space in the toe box. You can get special shoes prescribed if you need to. ‘In cases where these treatments do not work, there are several surgical options,’ Dr. Rottman said.
How do you treat a stiff big toe?
Arthrodesis (fusion) – Advanced stages of arthritis have traditionally been treated by a surgical fusion of the big toe. In this procedure, the damaged cartilage is removed, and the two bones of the joint are fixed together with plates and screws to allow them to heal together.
This procedure removes all remaining motion from the big toe joint. Fusion is very reliable at eliminating pain permanently from the joint. Studies have shown good restoration in the gait with very few functional limitations. This surgery is also an excellent option for patients with arthritis associated with deformity of the toe.
The major disadvantage of this surgery is that a good result is a completely rigid joint. This result will negatively affect patients that wish to run or participate in activities requiring motion of the big toe (such as many yoga poses). The recovery is longer than the bone spur removal, requiring weight bearing on the heel for 6 weeks after the surgery, and approximately 3 months until the patient is able to walk in normal shoes. Appearance before surgery (left image) of severe joint space narrowing and arthritis of the big toe and appearance after surgery (right image) of the fusion (arthrodesis) procedure.