Tuesday, 27 February 2024 00:00

Pain in the Big Toe Joint

Pain in the big toe joint is a common source of discomfort that affects mobility and overall quality of life for many individuals. Whether stemming from age-related wear and tear, conditions like bunions, or physical injuries, understanding the underlying causes is vital for effective management. Hallux rigidus, characterized by joint degeneration and restricted movement, often accompanies osteoarthritis and may require surgical intervention in severe cases. Bunions are bony protrusions that often necessitate changes in footwear and orthotic support, with surgery as a potential solution for more severe cases. Physical injuries to the big toe joint can lead to swelling, pain, and an increased risk of developing arthritis or other joint-related issues. When conservative treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgical options such as bunionectomy, joint realignment, or fusion may be needed. If you have persistent pain in the big toe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and a diagnosis, before deciding on the right treatment. 

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Stephen Boykins, DPM of SoCal Podiatry, P.C.. 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 offices located in Downey and Moreno Valley, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain

Connect With Us