Big toe pain can strike at any time. Maybe you feel it when you stand up for the first time in the morning. Maybe after a good workout or at the end of the day your toe throbs. Or maybe as soon as you slide your foot into a shoe that normally fits your toe screams in pain. Regardless of if your big toe pain is an annoyance or if it’s keeping you from activities you love, you should get assessment and treatment from your trusted podiatrist. There's no reason to put up with big toe pain, especially as it can reduce your mobility and disrupt your life.
For those of you asking "Why does my big toe hurt?", there’s a wide range of causes from calluses to bunions or injuries.
Causes of Big Toe Pain
When you wear shoes that are too tight around your toes or don’t fit correctly, your big toe and other parts of your foot rub against the inside of your shoe. The friction causes a callus to form to protect your skin. Calluses are rough hardened pieces of skin that can become thick. As they thicken, they can cause your shoes to feel tight and put pressure on the flesh of your toe, increasing your pain.
Corns are a specific kind of callus. They also form from pressure and friction from poorly fitting shoes. Corns are usually raised round bumps with a clearly defined center. When your shoe puts pressure on a corn, it can become inflamed and painful.
Ingrown toenails are common on big toes. They occur when your toenail curves and grows into your toe instead of straight out. As your toenail presses into your flesh, it can cause inflammation and toe pain, especially when you put on shoes and the shoe puts pressure on your toe. You can limit your risk of ingrown toenails by cutting your toenails straight across and wearing shoes that fit properly.
A bunion is a bony lump that forms on the side of your big toe where it joins the rest of your foot when pressure from poorly fitting shoes and structural abnormalities push your big toe into a position where it tilts toward your other toes. The lump pushes unnaturally against your shoes leading to pain and calluses. Bunions can affect your gait and make it uncomfortable for you to stand or walk.
Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease which causes the cartilage that covers and cushions the ends of your bones that meet in a joint to wear away. Another common form of arthritis that affects the big toe is gout. Gout is caused by excessive uric acid in the blood which causes a buildup of uric acid crystals to form, most commonly in the joint of your big toe.
The average person may stub their big toe against doors or furniture when they’re not paying attention to where they’re going. It’s also possible to injure your toe or even break it by dropping something heavy on it. Athletes are more likely to injure their toe by accidentally bending the toe in an unnatural direction and spraining it, causing an injury called Turf Toe.
What Should I Do if My Big Toe Hurts?
If you’re experiencing big toe pain, you should make an appointment with your trusted podiatrist. Dr. Nagy and the team at Nagy Footcare offer expert diagnoses of the cause of foot pain and toe pain as well as comprehensive treatments to not only relieve your pain but heal the condition causing your discomfort.
Dr. Nagy provides a wide range of treatments from custom orthotics to reduce friction and pressure on your toes and feet to medications and injections to reduce inflammation. The team can repair ingrown toenails offer other procedures like HyProCure® to resolve alignment issues that can lead big toe pain.
If you're asking "Why does my big toe hurt?", contact Nagy Footcare to make an appointment today. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.