5 Surprising Toe Problems That Cause Foot Pain

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on January 11, 2018

woman curling and hiding toesYour feet hurt. When you stand. When you take a step. Heaven forbid you try to exercise. And let’s not talk about the pain of sliding your feet into comfortable shoes. And all you want is to get back on your feet and to be able to get through your normal daily activities without pain.

You don’t have to put up with foot pain. Your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist can examine your feet and diagnose the root cause of your pain and provide effective treatment to heal your foot and relieve your pain. Your feet support your whole body and take a lot of pressure and strain throughout the day, so it’s important to take care of them, including your toes. Did you know that your toes are often the true root cause of your foot pain?

1.  Injury

Let’s start with the most obvious cause of pain: injuries. Say you stubbed your toe against the foot of your bed when you woke up in the middle of the night or were playing in your weekend soccer team and an opponent stepped on your toes – hard. These injuries trigger an inflammatory response, flooding your toes and foot with the extra blood and nutrients needed to repair the damaged tissue. Your toes are relatively small, so the swelling and related pain spread to your foot. This doesn’t mean your foot is also injured, all the pain is stemming from your toe injury.

2.  Hammertoe

A hammertoe is a condition where one of your toes bends unnaturally toward the other toes. This painful and often debilitating foot deformity is often caused by the muscles and tendons that connect the toe to the rest of the foot becoming inflamed and pulling your toe into a distorted position. If your muscles and tendons are so distorted that they pull your toe out of correct alignment, you are also experiencing some pain in the rest of your foot.

3.  Bunion

Bunions are another common issue that can lead to foot pain. Bunions occur when the joint that connects your toe to your foot is pulled out of alignment and a bony hump develops on the joint. In addition to causing foot pain, bunions can disrupt your gait, which can aggravate your foot pain and cause radiant pain through your ankles, knees, and hips.

4.  Ingrown toenail

It may surprise you to learn that an ingrown toenail can cause foot pain, or not if you’ve experienced this particular issue. An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail curves and grows into the flesh of your toe. When ingrown toenails are caught and treated early, you may just have a sore toe. However, if your toe becomes infected, the pain from the swelling and inflammation can spread to your foot. It can also change your gait which can lead to more discomfort in your foot, ankles, and legs.

5.  Toenail fungus infections

Typically, toenail fungus is associated with thick, yellow nails. However, as the nail becomes thick it can put pressure on your toe resulting in pain that radiates through your foot. You may find it difficult to walk, especially while wearing shoes that press on the infected nail.

What to do if your feet hurt

If you're suffering from foot pain, especially if it doesn’t resolve on its own in a couple days and is keeping you from favorite activities and hobbies, you should make an appointment with your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist for an exam and treatment.

In many cases, the conditions causing your foot pain are easily treated once diagnosed, often requiring simple changes to your footwear or orthotics. Even bunions and hammertoes are often successfully treated with conservative approaches including physical therapy, at home exercise,  and correctly fitting shoes.

Contact Dr. Nagy and the compassionate team at Nagy Footcare for an initial consultation to get to the bottom of your foot pain and get treatment. The team treats patients with all kind of foot problems. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.

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Topics: Toe Pain, General Foot Pain

We are committed to providing educational information because, at Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

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