A multifactorial solution to your big toe joint pain

A multifactorial solution to your big toe joint pain

The Big Toe Joint

Improving pain in your big toe can be difficult, as it requires in-depth understanding of the function, anatomy and capabilities of the big toe.

Podiatrists often view the big toe as the driving force behind the foot, if it is sore, if it is stiff, if it is not functioning the way it should we often see changes to your biomechanics and avoidance of big toe use, causing more problems up the chain in the knee and hips.

A podiatrist who specialises in sport, gives the best understanding of how to change pain and function, it is vital that your podiatrist has expert knowledge when it comes  to how the foot functions according to your sport.

Below we look at some more common interventions that will be certain to help your pain, given the importance of the big toe it is critical that self management only continues if you are having great results. The evidence of longer term pain in the big toe can be suggestive of the development of Osteoarthritis.

Big toe joint

Big toe solutions and treatments explained more below

Load Modification:

This is often complex phase. Forefoot padding with or without orthoses is key to modifying the stress through the big toe.

Tips to trial at home: use of rocker bottom shoe as it stiffens up the big toe.

Reduces stress through the forefoot

Improve Mobility:

Improving mobility is often a difficult process as it depends on how much the individual can handle pain free, and the motion already available in the big toe.

Tips to trial at home: begin with non-weight bearing stretches and then progress into weight-bearing ones.

Big toe joint flexibility

Big toe stretch example

Strengthening the Big Toe:

Strengthening focuses on improving the motor control of the foot and balance so it can control the ground reaction force present when you walk/jump.

Tips to trial at home: Any form of  movement aids strength, you can play around with different pressures and movements of the big toe.

Big toe strength exercise

So there you go, there are a few home tips to manage big toe pain. Of course, if pain is ongoing we recommend speaking with a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns, or want to learn more about the treatments available for big toe joint pathologies please feel free to call or email our team.

Josh (Podiatrist)