What Causes Big Toe Joint Pain?

This is a question that confronts many people, and there are a number of things that may be associated with this type of problem. Arthritis is often encountered by people in their big toe, and pain in this area is a symptom of this condition. When people ask for reasons and factors of pain on the toe joint, and they have problems at the base of the toe, it may also be the result of MTP joint. This is also known as Hallux Rigidus, and it is associated with damage to the cartilage in the joints.

Arthritis is the most common answer to the question on causes of toe pain, and there are a number of issues that are associated with this condition. The common indication of arthritis is when a person has trouble moving their big toe upwards. This may be a result of age or injuries that are associated with a variety of sports. Many people who play football or soccer injure their feet, and these joints never heal properly. When this is the case, the toe will be difficult to move, and there will be localized pain as well.

Dorsal bunions can be a cause of discomfort in the feet as well. This condition is also known as hallux limitus, and there is a noticeable bump that will be found at the top of the toe joint. Dorsiflexion or upward bending is limited in this condition, and there is pain in the localized area too. This condition is exacerbated by walking and running, and these tasks can become nearly impossible by a person who suffers from dorsal bunions. A podiatrist or other healthcare provider can provide medication that is essential to eliminating this issue.

Stiff big toe, or hallux Rigidus, is another problem that can affect feet. This condition is associated with MTP joint, and it produces a localized pain whenever a step is taken. This makes walking or running difficult and painful, and most people choose to have this condition treated. The reason for it is due to the cartilage that is found around the big toe. There is a layer of smooth cartilage that is found in the joint where it meets the foot. Over time, this cartilage can wear away. Hallux Rigidus is the name for this ache, and the discomfort is a result of the two bones rubbing together.

 When a person asks this question, they can take comfort that there are a number of treatment options that provide relief. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs are the medication of first resort for most people. They help to reduce the amount of swelling that is found in the area of the big toe, and this alleviates discomfort. Ice packs are another option, and these are a good way to reduce the swelling as well. Proper footwear is another choice, and there should be plenty of room for the feet to move comfortably around in a shoe.

Contrast baths are also used to treat foot pain and use alternating amounts of hot and cold water to reduce inflammation. Experts recommend that people take two buckets or tubs and fill one with hot water and the other with iced water. The feet can then be soaked in the tubs for approximately 30 seconds each. Alternating between the two baths should continue for five minutes and should end in the cold water. This treatment can be done for up to three times a day, but it is essential that the temperature difference is not too extreme.

Surgeons can remove most problems, and several operations can be used to alleviate this joint pain.  Cheilectomy is recommended when the damage to the joints is moderate to mild. This is a procedure that removes bone spurs and a part of the bone in the foot area. The operation may leave the foot swollen for several months and make walking difficult. Arthrodesis is another option, and this is a procedure that fuses the bones in the foot together. Surgeons remove the damaged cartilage and use screws or pins to ensure the bones do not rub together. Arthroplasty is a type of surgery that is only recommended for older patients who do not require the regular use of their feet. This operation consists of an artificial joint that is installed in place of the original one. This is a last resort and is generally not recommended.

When people ask what causes this situation, there are several answers. One of the most common problems has to do with arthritis. Cartilage in the big toe area degrades over time, and this is what cushions the toe bone where it meets the foot. When there is no more cartilage, the two bones rub together are responsible for localized discomfort and swelling.