Does your big toe feel swollen, achy, or uncomfortable? If it does, you're not alone. Big toe pain is a common foot complaint, and there are many different things that can cause it. No matter why you're feeling uncomfortable, the end result is often that walking becomes difficult and you just don't feel like yourself. Here are five things you need to know about treating pain in your big toe.
1. Many people suffer from pain in their big toe. Big toe pain isn't a rare complaint. The joint in the big toe is prone to get worn out, and that can cause pain, stiffness, or swelling. Symptoms may be chronic, or they may only occur intermittently.
2. There are many causes of big toe pain. Not all big toe pain is the same. Some cases are caused by gout, which is a type of arthritis. If a person has too much uric acid in their body, their big toe can become inflamed, stiff, and painful. Pain in the big toe can also be caused by injuries, alignment issues, or age-related wear and tear on the joint.
3. In some cases, you may be able to alleviate big toe pain at home. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be able to help with intermittent big toe pain. Other ideas include soaking the toe in hot water, using pain-reducing insoles in your shoes, and applying topical treatments like anti-inflammatory lotions to the affected toe.
4. A doctor can help relieve severe or long-lasting pain in your big toe. If home remedies aren't working, it's time to see a doctor. Many people with big toe pain put off making a doctor's appointment because they hope the pain will go away on its own, but this is a bad idea. Most of the time, chronic toe pain only gets worse over time, and it can impact your quality of life severely if left untreated.
5. If you need to see a doctor, it's best to look for an orthopedic specialist. Is it time to make a doctor's appointment? If so, look for an orthopedic specialist to treat your toe. A doctor who specializes in disorders of the foot and ankle will be able to diagnose your problem accurately and find a treatment that works for you. This could involve surgically removing bone spurs, replacing worn-out joint cartilage with synthetic cartilage, or helping you find the right insoles to reduce your pain.