Big toe pain could be kind of pain that will make all of your body feel sick. This is not something that we can underestimate. You need to know that this condition could affect your way of walking and running. It hurts and you have to choose the right treatment and know how to prevent it. Especially if you have other disease like diabetes. 

Big Toe Pain


Our big toe is attached to the foot by MTP joint. MTP is metatarsophalangeal and it’s vital to supporting our body. This joint also have a role to allow the toe bend up and down. When something affected MTP joint, it can cause a pain and swelling on your big toe.

Before you know more about big toe pain, you need to know about the causes. Here are some causes of this condition:


This is a common condition when the cartilage wears down at the joints. It can happens in your foot and affects MTP joint. Day by day, this condition will cause the cartilage to erode. The bones will rub against each other and you will feel the sore because there will be inflammation.

Bone spurs could be happen in this condition. Bone spurs and osteoarthritis cause hallux rigidus in your big toe. This case will make your big toe can’t move easily. Besides, you will feel the sore every second.


Uric acid also have a role to cause this pain. When the level of uric acid in your body is very high, it will crystallize and make a small deposits. When it happens in the joints, it will make a painful sensation. This is what we call as gout. Not only in the toe, but also the gout can spread to other parts of your body. It’s not only happen in elderly but all people have a risk of this condition.

Toe Injuries

People can get injuries in the parts of their body, for example the toe. Toe injuries can affect the joint. It can cause a fracture and pain. Also, the pressure in your toe can also give you the big toe pain. Especially if you like to do exercise regularly, don’t do an exercise that have a high risk of injury.


There will be pain and swelling at your big toe when there is bunion. Bunion is a bony lump and develops along the inner side of MTP. This condition can occur in everyone especially they who love to wear a tight shoes. That’s why it’s important to choose the right size of your shoes. The wrong shoes could give a strong pressure on your toe and it can give you a severe pain.


This is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones and surrounding tendons. It can make the toe work harder and cause pain. This case can also lead to swelling and difficulty moving. 


There are some symptoms of big toe pain. It’s easy to know because you can see it with your bare eyes. If there is something wrong with your toe, it will looks bigger than usual because it’s swelling. There will be redness in your toe because inflammation.

You will feel not comfortable when you stand and walk. There will be such a continuous pain from your big toe. Sometime, you feel the pain even when you’re not doing anything. If it’s normal, the pain will fade away until 3 days. If you still feel the pain after 3 days, you can see it as a bad signal.


Here are the types of big toe pain that you need to know:

1. Middle Toe Pain

This is a condition when there is an inflammation of the second toe joint capsule. The symptoms are burning, tingling, numbness, and curved toes. It may causes a sharp and shooting pain.

2. Intermitten Sharp Pain in Big Toe

This is a condition when you feel a discontinuous pain. The pain will come and go for several times. It may be a severe pain or just a mild pain.

3. Sharp Pain in Toes

Some people can deal with the pain in their toe. But, sometime it comes very sharp. The sharp pain in toes could come for a moment.

4. Hallux Rigidus

This is a condition that happen when the big toe loss its flexibility. It happens because of arthritis in the MTP joint. When the pain and stiffness is going worse, the doctor will advice a surgery procedure.

5. Big Toe Joint

The pain that you feel may come from the joint. Inflammation of a big toe joint may lead a mild and severe pain.

6. Big Toe Pain when Walking

This is the kind of pain that only happen when you’re walking. People with obesity usually feel this condition. This kind of pain also felt by people who often wear a tight shoe.


What you need to do to cure the pain? You can get a treatment to reduce the pain. Here are some treatments you can get.


When you see your doctor to check the condition of your big toe, you will get medication to reduce the sore. Doctor usually recommend a pain reliever like NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This kind of medication will help to reduce swelling in the area of your toe. Sometime, doctor prescribe corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation.

Lifestyle Change

You can also change your lifestyle to reduce the sore. Please change your shoes because the tight shoes can make the pain worse. You can also stop doing some activities like running because it gives a pressure to your toe. If you have an obesity, you must lose your weight to reduce the pressure.

Physical Therapy

At some cases, physical therapy is needed to cure this kind of pain. But this therapy usually used for certain condition like gout and osteoarthritis. You need therapist to help you reduce the pain and get your healthy toe like before.

How to Prevent

We all know that prevention is better than medication. There are some ways to prevent the big toe pain. You need to know that this condition can be worse and difficult to cure. That’s why it’s important for us to know the prevention. Here is how to prevent the sore so you will always have a healthy toe and doing all activities you like.

Maintain Your Weight

It’s very important for you to maintain your healthy weight. You need to know your ideal weight and please keep it with all of your efforts. People with obesity have a higher risk of this pain. The pressure will be heavier and it could hurt your toe. Please stay in your healthy weight. When you know that you’re gaining weight too fast, try to change your lifestyle and your food.


You can try to exercising regularly for prevent the big toe pain. There are some kinds of exercise you can try. But, please remember to choose a kind of exercise that don’t place a pressure in the MTP joint. Exercising regularly also good for the blood circulation. 

Choose the Right Shoes

Your tight shoes can cause the pain on your toe. That’s why you need to pay attention at your shoes. Please choose the right shoes that suitable on your foot. Leave all the tight shoes because it’s only give you the pain. You can also add a soft pad in your shoes to reduce the pressure. 

People with a big foot size usually can’t find the right shoes. It’s not easy for them to find a shoes that suitable with their size. If this is happen to you, you can try to buy a custom shoes. Custom your shoes with the right size and a comfortable design. It will be better if you have a shoes with soft pad to reduce the pressure.

Healthy Food

The pain could happen because you don’t have a healthy lifestyle. Your food will affects your health. Please avoid the food with high uric acid. Uric acid is the cause of gout and give the bad pain in your toe. Nut is one kind of food with high level of uric acid.

Ask your doctor about what kind of food you can eat, especially if you have other disease like diabetes or high blood pressure. The doctor will give you an advice about what kind of food you can eat to avoid the pain but still healthy. 

Avoid Injury

The pain could come because of an injury. We can prevent this pain by avoid injury in our leg. But how it could be? We all know that injury sometime comes as an accident. All we can do is to reduce the risk of injury. Stay safe when you have to work in the place with high risk of injury. Do everything you can to protect yourself and prevent any kind of pain.

Emergency Signal (When to See a Doctor)

People usually try to reduce the pain by themselves at home. But, in some conditions you need to meet your doctor as soon as possible. Here are some emergency signals that mean you need to see your doctor.

Please identify what kind of pain you feel. Is it mild or severe? If it’s a mild pain, it will reduce day by day. But, if the pain is getting worse and stay after 3 days it could be sign of a bad situation. You can see your doctor after 3 days of pain. 

You don’t need to wait until 3 days to see the doctor if you feel a severe pain. You can’t handle the pain and it happens suddenly. The doctor will give you the right medication to heal the pain. If there is a symptoms of other disease, the doctor will give a treatment that suitable with your condition.

Now you know what big toe pain is, the treatment, and what you can do to prevent it. Please be careful when the pain is getting worse. Don’t use any kind of medicine that not prescribed by the doctor.