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Reasons for Pain in the Big Toe

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 00:00

When you hurt your big toe, it can affect your life dramatically. The big toe absorbs much of the force of every step you take. A sore big toe does not want to be enclosed in a shoe, which can also be a great inconvenience. Big toe pain has numerous causes, including trauma. For example, stubbing the toe on a piece of furniture or dropping something heavy on the toes. Other causes are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Bunions, ingrown toenails, and fungal toenail infections may also cause big toe pain. The typical symptoms of big toe pain are discomfort while standing or walking, tenderness to the touch, and redness or swelling. If you believe you have broken a bone in the toe or if it appears that an infection has set in, it is essential to get medical help as soon as possible. It is suggested to consult a podiatrist about big toe pain if it has lasted for more than two or three weeks or if it goes away but keeps coming back. A podiatrist can examine the toe and determine the correct treatment plan for a speedy recovery.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Robert Binder of Robert P. Binder, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Reseda, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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