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Best Big Toe Joint Pain Treatment Options

The big toe and foot are connected by the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. The toe may flex up and down at this joint, which is essential for supporting the body. But sometimes, there may be discomfort and swelling in the big toe from conditions that affect the MTP joint. The ability to walk might be affected and localized movement is restricted due to pain in this joint.

So what are the best big toe joint pain treatment options? There are certain However, there are certain underlying diseases that may warrant a surgical treatment for big toe joint pain. 

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Treatment Options for Big Toe Joint Pain

The sort of treatment will be determined by what is causing the discomfort in the big toe joint. It has been demonstrated that painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines work well to relieve discomfort in the big toe joint. These drugs might also lessen localized edema. Corticosteroids are less frequently prescribed by doctors to treat inflammation.

A change in lifestyle might also be required. For instance, a person may require orthopedic footwear or shoe inserts to address a bunion. The following are some case-specific treatment options for big toe joint pain: 

1) Arthritis

The most typical cause of arthritis pain at the base of the big toe is hallux rigidus. The most typical symptom is pain experienced when walking or engaging in any other physical activity that places pressure on the foot and toe. 

Other signs can include difficulty moving the big toe or swelling close to the big toe's joint. Platelet-rich plasma injections, chilling or heating, painkillers, and wearing alternative shoes, such as ones with harder soles, are examples of nonsurgical treatments.

Surgical options may include:

  • Joint resurfacing
  • Removal of any bone spurs
  • Fusing the joint
  • Joint replacement

2) Ingrown Toenail 

Big toe discomfort or soreness is frequently brought on by an ingrown toenail. It might happen if a person trims their toenail too short or curls it in too far when doing so. An ingrown toenail may become worse while wearing tight shoes. Common symptoms include a hard, swollen, or tender big toe that is painful and has darkened skin. When there is an infection, pus can also be flowing from the location.

Nonsurgical treatments may include:

  • Wearing breathable and cozy shoes
  • Maintaining dryness of the foot and removing socks that are sweaty
  • Taking over-the-counter analgesics like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Regularly soaking the foot in a warm bath (3 - 4 times a day)

Surgical options include:

  • Full removal of the nail
  • Partial removal of the nail
  • Permanent nail removal 

3) Gout

When uric acid accumulates in a person's joints, it causes gout. It frequently happens in the big toe joint. Urine usually rids the body of uric acid, but occasionally it can accumulate and cause crystallization in the joints. Inflammation that results in skin discoloration or edema in the joint are some of the signs of gout.

Shiny skin above the toe joint and an excruciating ache that wakes you up at night may also be present. Additionally, purine-rich foods and beverages like alcohol, bacon, liver, and various types of seafood should be avoided by those who have gout. Gout-related inflammation normally goes away in 3 to 10 days. Typical treatment options include:

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications to treat the pain and swelling
  • Resting and not exerting yourself by standing, walking, or doing physical activities
  • Keeping the foot elevated
  • Ensuring you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids

4) Turf Toe

Turf toe is a big toe joint injury that happens while participating in sports. This injury occurs when the big toe is repeatedly bent upward or gets jammed. Athletes who compete on synthetic turf are more likely to develop the illness. Frequently, the discomfort and edema will progressively worsen over time. A person could have discomfort, edema, and decreased joint mobility.

The best course of action is typically to stop doing whatever it’s that is irritating the toe. By doing this, the damage can be kept from getting worse. The usual course of treatment is rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). When playing sports, a doctor could advise choosing less-flexible footwear. For severe injuries, they could advise surgery as a last resort.

5) Sesamoiditis

Sesamoids are bones that are either incorporated into muscles or connected to tendons. When the tendons surrounding the sesamoid below the big toe become inflamed, it’s known as sesamoiditis. Ballet dancers and runners commonly suffer from this ailment. Sesamoiditis symptoms can include difficulty moving the big toe, a slow onset of discomfort, bruising, swelling, and pain in the ball of the foot. Among the treatments a doctor might suggest are:

  • Using custom orthopedic devices
  • Physical therapy
  • Taping, padding, or strapping the big toe or foot
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the inflammation and pain 
  • Steroid injections

6) Fracture

Fractures of the big toe joint are quite common.A person may experience discoloration around the toe in addition to the typical symptoms of pain and swelling in the toe. Depending on the degree of the toe fracture, different treatments are available. A person could do the following actions:

  • Keeping the big toe wrapped
  • Using ice to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Keeping the foot elevated
  • Avoiding putting pressure or weight on the big toe

7) Bunion

The big toe joint's base can develop a bunion, which is a malformation. A visible hump on the side of the foot is caused by the joint sticking outward. This anomaly makes the toe point in the other way and may even overlap the toe next to it.

An inflamed, painful, and swollen bunion is possible. Additionally, the big toe's joint at the base is seen to point outward rather than within. Wearing shoes that don’t add to joint pressure and have a broad, flexible base will help to reduce symptoms. 

Some additional treatments may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Massage
  • Over-the-counter bunion pads
  • Applying ice packs on the big toe joint
  • Soaking the big toe and foot in a warm water bath. 

Home Treatment Options for Big Toe Joint Pain

  • Applying ice packs on the toe and foot for 20 minutes in every interval of 2 to 3 hours
  • Gently flexing and stretching the muscles in the foot
  • Taking pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) under the doctor’s recommendation.
  • Resting the toe and foot by not engaging in physical activities
  • Using a compression bandage to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Wearing shoes that are comfortable with a soft sole and no heels
  • Keeping the foot elevated.

How to Diagnose Big Toe Joint Pain Correctly

A doctor will conduct a physical examination, inquire about the patient's symptoms, lifestyle, medications, and any recent injuries, and then determine the reason for discomfort in the big toe joint. They could gently bend the toe up and down to check its flexibility. They will also search for signs of edema and bone spurs nearby.

The doctor will then check the foot for any tender spots and feel the skin to see if there are any open sores. An X-ray may be required in several situations. The location and severity of any injury or deformity will be evaluated by the doctor with the aid of this imaging test. Additional testing might be required, depending on the underlying cause of the discomfort. To diagnose gout, for instance, a blood test can assess the amount of uric acid in the blood.

Preventive Measures Against Big Toe Joint Pain

  • Never forget to warm-up prior to challenging workouts
  • Regular exercise without putting the MTP joint under undue strain
  • Increasing calcium and vitamin C intake may help to lessen the symptoms of arthritis
  • Take extra precautions when carrying anything heavy
  • Lowering caffeine intake, which can make a person's bones brittle
  • Avoid wearing high heels and tight shoes, especially around the toes
  • Putting on the proper shoes when there is a chance of getting hurt, such as steel-toe boots in a warehouse
  • Achieving or preserving a healthy body weight
  • Avoiding smoking, which can reduce a person's bone mass and increase their risk of osteoporosis or injury

When Should You Go to a Doctor

It’s generally unnecessary to seek medical advice in cases of mild pain or pain that gets better with time. Many sprains will recover on their own after some downtime. It’s advised to see a doctor if a person experiences many joint problems within a single month or if their big toe joint discomfort doesn’t go away after three days.

A doctor should be seen if the pain is severe, abrupt, or inexplicable. In the event that there are fracture-related symptoms, such as bruises around the big toe, a medical practitioner should inspect the foot.

Contact aNu Aesthetics for Quality Big Toe Joint Pain Treatment

A chronic illness, a recent incident, or pressure that has accumulated over time can all cause pain in the big toe joint. The underlying problem is frequently simply curable. While some injuries can heal naturally with rest and painkillers, others need medical intervention. To pinpoint the precise reason for your joint discomfort, our team of doctors and wellness experts at aNu Aesthetics and Optimal Wellness will do a physical examination.

By utilizing our services, we hope to assist patients in embracing self-care, obtaining optimal health, and progressing toward reaching overall well-being. We provide our patients with a variety of therapies, such as IM and IV therapy, nutritional supplements, and spa treatments for physical discomfort. Contact us right away to schedule an appointment.

Rewind The Clock Both Outside And In

Regenerative therapy has helped countless patients look and feel like the person they were years before. Call us today to book your regenerative therapy consultation.

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