Having a painful big toe joint can make carrying out a lot of
everyday physical activities really difficult, from walking, climbing stairs to
working out at the gym. According to health authorities, there are a handful of
problems that can leave the big toe joint achy, and some of the most common
ones can be found below.
Always remember that none of the details mentioned below should be
considered as a piece of medical advice. If you want to get to the bottom of things
and receive the appropriate treatment for the problem, it’s always a good idea
to report your big toe joint pain to your primary health care provider.
When pain in the big toe joint is mentioned, one thing will surely
pop in the minds of many: gout. Basically, gout is caused by the formation of
crystals in the joint, more commonly the joint of the big toe. Such can be
blamed on the inability of the body to get rid of excess uric acid produced
when certain foods are broken down, such as meat, seafood and alcohol.
Signs and symptoms of gout include pain, swelling and redness of
the affected big toe joint. It’s also very much possible for what’s referred to
as a gout tophus, which is a visible or palpable crystal growth, to form.
Eventually, the big toe joint may wind up damaged if gout constantly comes into
Put simply, a bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the
big toe. Conservative treatments for it include administration of
anti-inflammatory drugs, application of ice, padding, splinting and switching
to shoes that provide plenty of space for the toes. If a bunion causes frequent
pain or interferes with everyday activities, surgery may be warranted.
To date, health authorities do not really know the exact cause of
a bunion. However, they believe that it can be blamed on things such as
inherited foot types or deformities, injuries, and putting on tight or
high-heeled shoes. Experts add that a bunion can be due to or actually cause arthritis.
Speaking of which, another common cause of pain in the big toe
joint is arthritis, in particular osteoarthritis which is regarded as the most
common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis of the big toe joint can be blamed on
overuse, injuries and also the normal process of aging — wear and tear of the
protective cartilage in the big toe joint can result from them.
Having osteoarthritis of the big toe joint causes signs and
symptoms such as swelling, redness, pain, stiffness and sometimes a grinding
sensation. Aside from osteoarthritis, other forms of arthritis that may strike
the big toe joint include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Individuals who participate in contact sports are at risk of
suffering from a form of big toe joint injury called turf toe. It causes a lot
of pain that can stem from a sprain, which is an injury or a trauma to the
ligament of the big toe joint. This sports-related injury’s name comes from
artificial turf on which the likes of soccer and football are played.
Other than pain, turf toe also causes signs and symptoms such as
discoloration and swelling. For immediate relief from turf toe, rest,
elevation, ice and sometimes the use of a crutch are recommended to decrease
pain. Relieving stress on the affected big toe is necessitated in order to
Near the big toe joint are two small bones that are situated
within a tendon that allows for the flexing down of the big toe, and they are
referred to as the sesamoid bones. The sesamoid bones may wind up inflamed and
achy as a result of a trauma or an injury, and such is a condition that’s
referred to as sesamoiditis.
People who repeatedly engage in jumping or balancing on the toes
such as basketball players and ballet dancers are at high risk of ending up
with sesamoiditis. Provided that there is no soft tissue tear or fracture
involved, sesamoiditis may be alleviated with rest, placing a supportive pad,
and using shoes that relieve the ball of the foot of pressure.
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