Pain in the Big Toe Joint

With 33 joints in the foot, one of them is bound to be bothersome at some point. Pain in the big toe joint can result from a number of conditions. Whether you are young or old, an athlete or sedentary, the big toe joint can become injured, arthritic, infected, jammed or stiff.

Sudden Pain in the Big Toe Joint

If your pain is sudden and accompanied by redness and swelling, it is best to seek immediate medical attention. If you don’t recall any injury, this pain is likely due to an infection or condition known as gout. In both cases, the joint can become permanently damaged. Gout is a type of arthritis that presents as a result of uric acid (UA) being too high, such that it accumulates in the joint in the form of sharp crystals – ouch!  Your Chiropodist may recommend that you have bloodwork taken to determine why your UA levels are high, and it may be necessary to take a medication temporarily or permanently. If an infection is the culprit, a clinician may take a sample of fluid from your joint to confirm this and antibiotics are necessary to treat it.

If you recall injuring your big toe recently, you could have a sprain, often called “turf toe,” a strain or a fracture. This will require an x-ray and management by a BioPed Chiropodist, Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon.

Long-Standing Pain in the Big Toe Joint

If your big toe joint pain is long-standing or has been slowly worsening, you may have a different type of arthritis. It may be related to injury, genetics or overuse. Sometimes a “bump” can be felt on top of the joint or on the side of the joint. This bump is the bone building up in response to inflammation in the joint. Chiropodists can offer cortisone injections to target the inflammation locally without the need for pills. Also, if the pain is associated with movement of the joint, your BioPed clinician will be able to help address this with the use of an orthotic or rocker sole shoe.

If you recall injuring your big toe recently, there may be a stress fracture that enters the joint or an older fracture that never properly healed. This will require an x-ray and management by a Chiropodist, Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon.

Other soft tissue conditions can affect the area surrounding the joint, such as tendonitis.

Find Relief

Looking for fast relief? A great pain relief cream that is available at BioPed is TPR Topical Pain Relief. This cream works to relieve minor aches and joint pain, and it targets inflammation to get you back on your feet comfortably.


No one should have to suffer with joint pain. Ask your BioPed Foot Specialist for assistance today.

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