Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

Causes of Big Toe Pain

Pain in the big toe can be attributed to various causes, including arthritis, fractures, and gout. While most cases are manageable with conservative remedies, certain conditions like sesamoiditis may necessitate more specialized treatment. Arthritis, specifically hallux rigidus, is a common culprit, often affecting individuals over the age of 50, particularly women. Ingrown toenails can also lead to discomfort when toenails are cut too short or improperly. Gout, characterized by the buildup of uric acid in joints, frequently targets the big toe joint. Turf toe, a sports-related injury resulting from repetitive bending or jamming, is more prevalent among athletes on artificial turf. Sesamoiditis, common in runners and ballet dancers, results from inflammation of tendons around the sesamoid bones below the big toe. Toe fractures are commonplace due to various activities or accidents. Bunions, deformities at the base of the big toe, can cause discomfort and joint inflammation. Other potential causes encompass nail infections, Raynaud's disease, Morton's neuroma, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have unexplained, persistent big toe pain, or if it is worsening, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Rahil Baxamusa, DPM of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Crystal Lake, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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