Big toe pain, what could be the problem

big toe pain Mar 05, 2021

Our big toes take 50% of our body weight when we walk and help us to balance. Big Toes are often ignored unless there is pain or a problem. Most toe pain are a result of injury or minor underlying medical conditions. Most toe pain conditions can be treated. Please find some information below on why you may be getting toe pain.



Bunions can become very painful over time if left untreated. Bunions are bony bumps that form on the side of the big toe joint.

If you notice that

  • your feet are changing shape
  • there is a prominent bump at the side and base of the big toe
  • the toe is pointing towards your other toes
  • hard or swollen area that is red

Sometimes you may also get pain along the side of the joint or toe. These are clear signs that you have developed a bunion. Bunions do not go away on there own but there are certain things you can do to ease the pain. Wear wide shoes with an adjustable strap or lace, and a small heel.  Apply ice to the bunion for 5 minutes at a time, buy some bunion pads ( local pharmacy do these ) ibuprofen gel and orthotics or arch supports can also help (consider orthotics from a podiatrist). If none of these help then surgery maybe the only option.

Ingrowing toe nail:

Is an ingrown toenail making your life miserable? Call us today at 212-750-8344 or make an appointment at Precision Footcare

Ingrowing toe nail is when the nail starts to grow into the skin. It usually affects the big toe, but It can affect any toe. Over time it starts to get painful and could become infected.

Ingrowing toenails can be caused by

  • injury to the nail
  • cutting the nails incorrectly
  • wearing footwear that is too tight
  • shape of the nail.

There are a few treatments you can try to help release pain these include.  

  • Soaking the toe in warm water 3 times a day
  • wear wide comfortable shoes

Unfortunately the ingrown nail may not resolve on its own, the area that's affected will usually need to be cut back, and treated by a podiatrist to get rid of the pain, and stop any further infection and pain.

Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses are small lumps or patches of hard skin that usually appear on the feet and toes. Soaking your feet and moisturising them regularly can help prevent corns and callus build up. They are normally caused by pressure or rubbing of the skin. These are usually harmless and easily treatable, they can sometimes become painful and a trip to see a podiatrist is needed to help relieve symptoms.


Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden pain in a joint. It usually occurs in the big toe, but it can occur in other joints aswell, including the knee. The area affected by gout is normally painful, hot, swollen and the skin will usually become red around the area that’s affected. Gout happens when there is an excessive amount of uric acid in the body, this turns to crystals and creates inflammation and pain. Treatment to reduce pain includes non steroidal anti- inflammatory medication, apply ice to the affected area to cool the joint down, rest and raise the affected area.  Gout can be very painful and it is best to see a podiatrist and your GP to optimise treatment outcome. 


Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more of the joints. It causes pain and stiffness and is very common in the small joints in the foot and ankle. Arthritis can affect daily activity and make walking and activities you enjoy difficult to do. There is no cure for the condition, but there are many treatment options available, in order to slow down the process and relieve symptoms, these include pain relief with ice, steroid injections, orthotics, wider fitting footwear.


All the above are just some of the most common causes of pain and foot problems. If none of the above help relief your symptoms. Or if you are suffering from pain somewhere else in the foot, that hasn’t been spoken about above then we advise you to see a podiatrist asap, so they can find out the cause of the problem and the best way to get you pain free as quickly as possible.


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