How to treat a painful big toe joint?

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Craig Payne
  • Published September 12, 2022
  • Word count 542

Soreness within the big toe joint that hurts when walking is mostly frequently as a result of osteoarthritis and is commonly given the term more commonly referred to as hallux rigidus when the joint is really inflexible or hallux limitus if its not so inflexible. Hallux rigidus is painful whenever walking, so if its very painful resting, then it could more likely be gout symptoms than a hallux rigidus. Considering the hallux rigidus, when we are walking and the rearfoot commences to lift up off the ground, the big toe joint has to flex for that movement to occur. In the event that motion is limited or there exists a painful osteoarthritis in the big toe joint, then that it is not really as easy to walk. It is logical when this joint hurts if walking, then a rational solution to help the pain sensation on motion is to control just how much the joint moves.

There's lots of different ways to do this. One easy method in which Podiatrists use is with felt pads that could be stuck on the foot underneath the great toe or hallux and front foot or strapping could be utilized to strap the big toe joint. Those two are usually excellent temporary methods, however unrealistic for the long term. Should you need a foot support for other reasons, there is an extension that the Podiatrist can add on the front edge of the foot support which is known as a Morton’s extension which they can use to restrict up the joint by limiting bending or flexion of the joint. One other way is by using a carbon fibre insole plate which typically are under 2mm thick for them to fit easily into the shoe and therefore are quite inflexible. These kinds of carbon fibre plates are usually helpful to treat hallux rigidus as well as other conditions including turf toe that require to limit the movement with the hallux joint. The research evidence is that they are pretty efficient at helping the symptoms in the big toe joint in these types of conditions. An alternate way to deal with the discomfort from your osteoarthritis and hallux rigidus is to simply use footwear that are more inflexible across the ball of the foot. The more flexible the sole of a shoe is, the more that the great toe or hallux joint is going to bend and the more probable it is to be painful if walking. There are several types of footwear, especially the Hoka running footwear, that have a rocker and extra padding included in them which are especially beneficial at this. The consequence with the rocker in these kinds of shoes would be that the great toe or hallux does not need to flex just as much as the foot moves forward over the rocker. A pedorthist or shoe tech can add a rocker to many several types of shoes to get the same thing.

For those who have hallux rigidus or osteoarthritis of the big toe or hallux joint, then there are choices in the short term to deal with the pain and possibilities in the longer term to deal with the movement of the hallux joint so that it is less painful.

For more on the carbon plate for hallux rigidus see:

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