Big Toe Arthritis Pain

Big Toe Arthritis Pain: Learn about the most common causes of big toe arthritis (Osteoarthritis & Gout) & learn how to start treating them immediately!



What Causes Big Toe Arthritis Pain?

Big toe arthritis is caused by inflammation of the big toe joint. There are many causes of arthritis, but usually only 3 major causes in the big toe joint alone:

Osteoarthritis: This is the classic wear and tear arthritis that occurs in patients over 40-50 years old.

Traumatic Arthritis: This arthritis can occur after a serious injury to the big toe joint. Examples include a broken bone or cartilage damage (not just a sprain).

Gout: This is known as a crystal arthritis, it is the results of uric acid crystals in the joint. This is very common (5 million in USA) & is extremely painful for 1-2 days.


Symptoms of Big Toe Arthritis Pain:

1) Osteoarthritis & Traumatic Arthritis:

  • Worse with activity.
  • Better at rest.
  • Decreased joint range of motion.
  • Aching pain.
  • Fatigue like pain.


2) Gout:

  • Extreme pain for 1-2 days without injury.
  • High degree of redness.
  • High degree of swelling.
  • Usually after a night of alcohol drinking (dehydration).
  • 8+/10 on the pain scale.
  • Better with ice & anti-inflammatory medication.


 Treatment of Big Toe Arthritis Pain:

There are 3 stages to Big Toe Arthritis Pain Relief. This guide focuses primarily on osteoarthritis & traumatic arthritis. You should go see a podiatrist immediately at the first signs of gout in the big toe; you will need pain medication!

-Skip To The Complete Toe Arthritis Guide.

1)Decrease The Inflammation:

This must be done for approximately 1-2 weeks until the pain decreases.

  • Cryotherapy: Ice the big toe joint for 15-20 minutes.
  • NSAIDs: Use an anti-inflammatory(Ibuprofen, Naproxen etc)  to decrease the inflammation. Do this under the supervision of your physician. Less inflammation means better healing.
  • Over The Counter Orthotics: Get a rigid pair for approximately $25 (I like Powersteps), this will greatly improve your foot stress! The best foot value you can possibly get! (Avoid the flimsy gel inserts, they don’t work!)


2)Start Correcting The Cause:

Do this for a couple months and see if the joint pain is getting better.

  • Weight loss: I won’t say anything else!
  • Custom Orthotics:  If you have insurance, they can be more durable & offer better control.
  • Stretching of Hamstrings, Calves & Plantar Fascia: **This is the most important thing you can do**. This is the most important thing you can do to improve the pressure distribution while you walk & stand.


3)See The Podiatrist:

Something made that pain appear in the first place and it is a good idea to get it checked out & find the root cause of it.

  • Biomechanical Consult: Evaluate your entire bio-mechanical structure. See if you arthritis is caused by tight muscles, knees, hips or back? Or maybe even problems that you didn’t know about like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis.
  • Surgical Consult: Only a small percentage of people ever end up needing this, usually in very advanced disease.



For more on toe arthritis:

The Complete Toe Arthritis Guide.