Big toe pain is a very common complaint that is treated by foot doctors and there are a variety of causes of pain in the big toe. Since symptoms of these conditions can be similar, it is important to see your foot specialist for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

The conditions that can cause pain in the big toe are caused by disease, injury or a structural abnormality and may include:

  • Gouty arthritis— Gouty arthritis can cause inflammation of the big toe joint from painful crystals that form from excess uric acid in the blood. These crystals are like little needles and cause extreme pain and swelling and the big toe joint is frequently affected, as are other joints of the feet. Decreasing uric acid levels by eating a diet low in alcohol and purine-rich foods can help prevent gout attacks.

  • Turf toe— This injury is characterized by the tendons and ligaments around the big toe becoming inflamed or jammed from the pressure encountered while pushing off your feet during sporting activities and exercise. It happens more on artificial turf, but turf toe can happen on practically any surface.

  • Stiff big toe (hallux rigidus)—This is an arthritic condition that happens gradually but can eventually lead to a completely rigid big toe joint. Properly fitted shoes and custom orthotic inserts can help treat the condition and keep it from worsening, but severe cases may require surgery.

If you are experiencing big toe pain, your foot doctor can determine the cause and provide the best treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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