Big Toe Joint, Hammer Toe & Bunionette Problems:

Big Toe Pain When Walking [FIX Your Big Toe That Hurts When Walking]

Do you have big toe pain when walking? We go over how to fix pain in the big toe joint when walking & pain under the big toe joint when walking.

big toe pain when walking treatment
Do you have big toe pain when walking? We can help!



  • Big toe joint pain when walking can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
  • We are foot doctors & we see this problem get better almost every day.
  • The goal is to solve this problem without medication or surgery if possible.

So, let’s GO!

Big Toe Pain When Walking Treatment Video:

This video goes over big toe pain when walking treatment 

My Big Toe Hurts When I Walk Video Summary:

🦶Do you have Sprained Big Toe Joint  When Walking? We go over how toe sprains happen and why they can cause your big toe joint to hurt when walking!🦶

If you have a big toe joint sprain, toe sprain, or just want turf toe explained, we’ve got you covered for your turf toe diagnosis & turf toe rehab!

00:00 Turf Toe Home Treatment
0:44 What is Turf Toe & Turf Toe Causes
0:56 Turf Toe Symptoms & Turf Toe Anatomy
1:00 Turf Toe Sprain, Turf Toe Rupture, Turf Toe Dislocation (dislocated toe or dislocated big toe joint)
1:50 Turf Toe Recovery Time
2:15 Turf Toe Diagnosis
3:09 Turf Toe Pain Relief
3:28 Turf Toe Medication & Sprained Big Toe Joint Medications
4:37 Turf Toe Massage
4:42 Turf Toe Injection
4:49 Turf Toe Cast & Turf Toe Boot
5:12 Turf Toe Taping & Sprained Big Toe Joint Taping
10:00 Best Turf Toe Shoes
11:00 Best Turf Toe Orthotics
11:50 Turf Toe Exercises & Turf Toe Stretches
12:10 Turf Toe Rehab

Why does my big toe hurt when I walk?

These are the top 5 causes of big toe joint pain when walking.

bunion, hallux rigidus, gout, sesamoiditis, turf toe

Top 5 Big Toe Joint Causes Picture & Photo Gallery:


So, check out the big toe diseases by clicking on the photo gallery for descriptions!

Causes of Big Toe Joint Pain:


  • A bunion is the beginning of the dislocation of the big toe joint.
  • The official term is subluxation, this is when the first metatarsal phalangeal joint starts to come out of the joint.
Bunion before and after
The foot on the left is a bunion. This is the subluxation or early dislocation of the big toe joint.


  • This usually means the big toe joint is starting to point towards the second toe, this forces the second toe to rise over the big toe if it gets bad enough.
  • This can contribute to forming a second toe hammer toe, as well as making the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes spread towards the outside of the foot.
  • You can also develop a bunion to your fifth toe, this is called a tailor’s bunion, or a tailor’s bunionette.

Bunion stages sesamoiditis


Turf Toe:

  • A turf toe injury is the hyperextension of the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, also known as a big toe joint sprain.
  • There are many tendons and ligaments and bones on the bottom of your big toe joint.
  • If you strain the tendons and ligaments, these can take many weeks or many months to heal.
  • If you ever watch professional football, or soccer, this is a very common sports injury when the big toe plants into the ground and all your body weight transfers over.
Turf Toe Injury
Turf Toe Injury is the hyperextension of your big toe joint.



  • There are two bones underneath your big toe joint called your sesamoids bones. These are the tibial sesamoid and the fibular sesamoid.
  • If the big toe joint becomes disrupted, such as in a bunion these can become dislocated sesamoids.



  • In sports such as basketball where there is a lot of pressure put on the big toe joint, this can lead to inflammation of the sesamoid bones. This is called the sesamoiditis.
  • If your sesamoiditis gets really bad, it is also possible to get a broken sesamoid, or sesamoid fracture.
  • It can be a good idea to see a podiatrist if you do have a broken or fractured sesamoid bone.
Bipartite sesamoid, fractured sesamoid treatment
This is an example of both sesamoids dislocating. This can lead to chronic sesamoiditis and pain.


Big Toe Joint Arthritis (AKA Hallux Rigidus):

  • Arthritis means that the cartilage is missing from your joint, this then prevents normal joint motion. Eventually as the damage keeps getting worse, the bone starts to crack, cause severe pain and eventually develop bone spurs and uneven bone at the site.
bone spurs big toe pain
Big toe joint arthritis can prevent bending of the big toe joint.
  • In your big toe joint when you start to lose some motion, this is called hallux limitus. Eventually this starts to lose complete motion and this is now called hallux rigidus. This means that your big toe joint is rigid and unable to move.
  • There are four stages to hallux rigidus,progressing from no arthritis to complete fused arthritis.
  • Hallux rigidus and big toe joint arthritis essentially mean the same thing.
  • This is a very common problem that we see especially in people who are on their feet all day, or have broken their toe in the past.
Big toe joint arthritis hallux rigidus bone spur
Big toe joint arthritis with a large bump forming. This can be very painful!



Flat Foot:

  • Flat feet can be caused by many different things, and flat feet result in many different problems.
  • The more your foot flattens, the more abnormal pressure is put onto your big toe joint. This can lead to abnormal pressure causing a dislocation also known as a bunion, or jamming of the cartilage which can lead to big toe joint arthritis or hallux rigidus.
  • Flat fee are very complicated topic, as you can have a bunion in a high arched foot as well, but generally it is the act of over pronation that causes your big toe joint to receive pressure and become agitated.
  • Controlling flat fee with more support has more pros than cons for sure.

Flat foot pain flat feet


Pain Under the Big Toe Joint When Walking Treatment Video:

This video goes over pain under the big toe joint when walking treatment. 

  •  It also covers pain in the big toe and ball of the foot when walking.
  • It also answers the question Why do I have pain under my big toe when I walk?”

Pain under the Big Toe When I Walk Video Summary:

🦶Do you have BOTTOM of the big toe joint pain? This is called SESAMOIDITIS & we will show you the BEST 13 Sesamoiditis Home Treatments & Big Toe Joint Pain Treatments!🦶

We go over sesamoiditis exercises, sesamoiditis massage, sesamoiditis pain relief, sesamoiditis stretches & the best sesamoiditis home treatment!

The sesamoid bones are one of the major causes of the bottom of the big toe joint pain. So get bottom of the big toe joint pain relief now!

00:00 Sesamoiditis home treatment.
0:40 Sesamoid bone anatomy, sesamoiditis signs & sesamoiditis symptoms.
1:47 Sesamoiditis causes.
2:35 Sesamoiditis doctor treatment.
2:59 Sesamoiditis taping & big toe joint taping.
3:42 Big toe joint pain relief.
4:04 Big toe joint pain injection.
4:31 Big toe joint pain treatment.
5:58 Sesamoiditis cast & Sesamoiditis boot.
6:30 Best Sesamoiditis Shoes.
7:30 Best Sesamoiditis Orthotics & Sesamoiditis Insoles.
8:25 Sesamoiditis Rehab & Sesamoiditis Recovery Time.
8:55 Sesamoiditis Running & Big toe joint pain from running.
9:15 Sesamoiditis Stretching and Sesamoiditis Exercises.
9:30 Sesamoiditis Stretches.
10:35 Sesamoiditis Massage.
12:18 Sesamoiditis Exercises & Sesamoiditis Stretches.

What is a Bunion?

  • A bunion is not always arthritis in the big toe joint; it dislocates the big toe joint.
  • It is better to think of the joint as being dislocated, and every time he puts weight on it, it is dislocating rather than arthritis jamming.
  • A better way to think about arthritis is that the bone has cracked and that you have microscopic little breaks that have destroyed the cartilage.
  • Because now you don’t have smooth cartilage, the bone is rubbing against the. Arthritis is just about as simple as that.
bunion hallux valgus hallux rigidus big toe joint arthritis
This is an example of big toe joint arthritis combined with a bunion.


  • Big toe pain when walking usually presents with increased pressure on your foot.
  • This can result in more of a tender, aching, or throbbing big toe.
  • It usually hurts more when you are putting pressure on it.
  • The pain is usually not as bad when you are off your feet and resting.
Foot Pain Behind Big Toe: Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment 2020
The most common foot pain behind the big toe are bunions, big toe joint arthritis, hallux rigidus, turf toe, and sprained big toe joints.

Big Toe Pain When Walking Treatment:

  • Some of the best options are usually a good pair of shoes and a great pair of inserts for your foot.
  • Common sense things that everybody already knows include getting in much better shape and weight loss.
  • But that’s not why you’re here; you’re here to get quick and effective advice.
  • There are great gel pads and orthotics available. These do work well, but they don’t actually fix your problem when people, the problem with bunions is that people try and sell products and convince you that this will actually solve the problem.
  • You must understand that gel pads will never fix the problem! What they can do is make it feel better while you are wearing it.
Shoes for pinky toe sprain and fracture pain
A pair of good supportive shoes with orthotics are the best treatment options for bunion and big toe joint pain.

Orthotics for walking and big toe joint pain:

  • In our clinic, we find that approximately 75-90% of people feel good enough with orthotics and bracing that they never require surgery or any medication.
  • The main downside of orthotics is that you need the right type of shoe to fit this orthotic.
  • A common misconception for orthotics is that you need to pay a lot of money; that is not the case! Orthotics can be a modified shell off the shelf, and they do help dramatically.

Evidence for orthotics in walking foot pain:

  • Orthotics are now very proven devices with extensive studies supporting their effectiveness.
  • There are many different modifications and adjustments throughout the process that need to be made; this depends greatly on what exactly is hurting you first. See one of our podiatrists like Dr. Biernacki, to get evaluated for your inserts!
  • The most important part is making sure they fit and function for you.

Lesser causes of big toe pain when walking are:

Big Toe Joint Home Treatment Infographic:

Bunion, hallux rigidus treatment

What if my big toe pops when walking?

2 types of conditions can make your big toe pop:

2 types of big toe clicking when walking:

These are the most common causes of big toe joint clicking when walking.

Severe Bunion Dislocation:

1) This is a fairly significant bunion that is causing subluxation pain (subluxation means popping).

  • Popping and clicking means that there is some dislocation developing with a loose capsule stretched out.
  • If this is bothering you, you can come to see us in Michigan. We can perform in-office procedures.
  • But otherwise, there are ways to treat your bunion pain without performing surgery.

Big Toe Joint Arthritis:

2) Big toe joint arthritis can cause spur formation that can click and pop while walking.

  • Hallux rigidus means that there are 4 stages of arthritis development.
  • As you get into a grade 3 or 4, fairly significant arthritis develops in the big toe joint, which can cause clicking and popping of the big toe joint when walking.
  • Big toe joint arthritis can feel like a big lump on top of your big toe joint, and there is an inability to bend the big toe joint up or down.
  • If this is a problem, we can help with minimally invasive in-office surgery and procedures for hallux rigidus in the office.

Big Toe Joint, Hammer Toe & Bunionette Problems:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you walk without a big toe?

  • Yes, it is possible to walk without a big toe. This scenario is especially true if you have an amputated big toe or an injured big toe.
  • They have performed lots of studies, and while it does slow down your athletic ability, people can walk 6 city blocks with a minimal loss of function.
  • You can walk without a big toe, but this does mean all your other joints like your ankle, knee, and hip do have to pick up the increased workload.
  • Obviously, walking would be better assist this with a good orthotic and a good pair of podiatrist recommended shoes.
  • In our experience, a person’s letter is more likely to have an amputated big toe joint than requiring significant athletic levels.
  • When we talk about walking, we talk about things like going on a vacation or going on a long walk to the grocery store.

Why does my big toe hurt when I walk?

  • Specific disease causes include a bunion, hallux rigidus, bone spurs, and capsulitis.
  • On average, all of these have been caused by an overload and pressure, causing either the left big toe joint pain or the right big toe joint pain.
  • We frequently see someone have left big toe joint pain or right big toe joint pain.
  • We usually see a tight ankle, a tight knee, a tight hamstring, a tight hip, or a tight back with these people.
  • When you come to a podiatrist’s office, we can perform a walking analysis to assess which part of your foot or leg is tight.
  • We can start coordinating proper stretches, braces, orthotics, or good supportive pair of shoes to get you walking normally get pressure off the big toe joint.
  • If you think you might have injured your big toe joints, such as a bunion or arthritis, we can help with that.

Can you walk on a broken big toe?

  • Walking on a broken big toe is possible, but we recommend performing some extra broken big toe treatment options.
  • We recommend getting diagnosed by a podiatrist to determine how severe your big toe joint fracture is first.
  • We would then recommend getting a protective device or a walking boot for your big toe pain.
  • If you want to travel long distances, we recommend a knee scooter for your big toe joint pain.

Why does the toe next to the big toe hurt when walking?

What if I have a big toe and ball of the foot pain when walking?

  • Ball of the foot pain in the toe joint pain is prevalent.
  • This ball of the foot pain is called metatarsalgia, and we see these problems extremely commonly.
  • Click this following link, and we will go over our complete video guide and treatment page for metatarsalgia and the ball of the foot pain, and big toe joint pain.
  • It is also possible to have fat pad atrophy in the ball of the foot (decreased fat cushioning.

What if I have pain in the big toe when walking with no swelling?

  • Pain in the big toe joint when walking and no swelling can be fairly common.
  • Most people think that trauma or significant injury needs to occur to get big toe joint pain.
  • The more common scenario is usually that there is simply an uneven amount of pressure being put into that big toe joint.
  • For example, that ankle, calf muscle, knee, hip, and hamstring might all be tighter on that side.
  • We frequently see patients compensating an uneven amount of pressure onto an otherwise healthy big toe joint causing the pain.
  • Big toe pain when walking with no swelling is why we recommend good orthotics and good shoes above.

What if I have severe pain in the big toe joint when walking?

  • Severe pain would be a little bit unusual.
  • If you develop severe pain, this may be a developing stress fracture, a broken toe, or even a gout attack in the big toe joint.
  • If you have severe pain in your big toe joint when walking or anywhere else in the foot, we recommend contacting the podiatrist immediately.
  • Podiatrists are trained to evaluate and treat these problems quickly, and we treat these problems like an emergency, and we will get you in immediately.

What if my big toe goes numb when walking?

  • If your big toe joint goes numb when walking after a long period of time, this is a sign that there is too much pressure on your big toe joint.
  • Your big toe going numb is likely not nerve damage but continuous bruising due to pressure.
  • We see this commonly when someone has a tighter plantar fascia, a tighter ankle, a tighter calf, and a hamstring knee or hip on that side.
  • A tight foot forces more pressure to be placed on that foot and ankle.
  • Consider overpronation as a source of your big toe going numb when walking.
  • Would you please take a look at our overpronation and flat foot treatment guide to feeling better?

What if I have a cramp in the big toe when walking?

  • A cramp in the big toe when walking can be very similar to numbness in the big toe.
  • When walking, a cramp in the big toe is unlikely to be nerve damage, but it is likely increased pressure on the big toe.
  • If you have peripheral arterial disease, this can be a cause.
  • If you have medical conditions such as diabetes or are a chronic smoker, this might be something to look out for.
  • If you have significant health conditions and are developing cramping, see a podiatrist immediately and let us help!
  • If you are a young and healthy person, consider flatfoot and overpronation as a cause.

What if I have pain in the big toe joint after a long walk?

What if my big toe lifts when walking?

  • If your big toe lifts while walking, this might mean that you have a spasm to the extensor tendons.
  • The extensor hallucis longus can cause your big toe to lift while walking.
  • You are big toe lifting while walking is also related to overpronation and flat foot pain.

What if I have pain in the tip of the big toe when walking?

  • Pain in the tip of the big toe when walking can mean that you are leaning too far into the tip of the toe.
  • Pain in the tip of the big toe could mean that you have overpronation flat foot pain.
  • This tip of the toe pain could also mean that your flexor hallucis longus muscle is contracted and tight.

What I have sudden pain in the big toe joint when walking?

  • If you have sudden pain in the big toe joint when walking, it is getting jammed.
  • This jamming or pressure could mean that you are getting a nerve or muscle spasm.
  • This sudden pain in the big toe when walking is likely not any permanent damage or injury.

What if I have a sharp pain on the bottom of the big toe when walking?

  • If you have a sharp pain on the bottom of the big toe when walking, this can lead to swelling, bruising, and nerve irritation.
  • This sharp pain on the bottom of the big toe when walking means too much pressure on the bottom of your big toe.
  • Consider overpronation and flatfoot treatment.

What if I have pain at the base of the big toe when walking?

  • Pain at the base of the big toe is usually a condition called sesamoiditis.
  • Just like the bone on the front of your knee, sesamoid pain can result in bone pain underneath the big toe joint while walking.
  • Sesamoiditis can take a long time to get better, and it creates pressure right underneath the base of the big toe joint pain.
  • Modifying the right pair of orthotics or a good supportive shoe can make all the difference.
  • The second thing that needs to be done is utilizing the proper foot stretches in the proper foot exercises to get pressure off the foot and ankle.
  • We also go over sesamoiditis and big toe joint taping for foot pain relief.