Throbbing Big Toe Pain At Night

Throbbing big toe pain at night is mostly due to nerves being irritated. This does not always mean you have a nerve disease!

Why is My Big toe joint throbbing at night
Your big toe joint is throbbing at night because of the damage you do to it during the day.

Why Does My Big Toe Hurt At Night?

  • Most people are not doing anything wrong to their big toe at night while they are sleeping, so why are you feeling extreme pain at night?
  • Think about this like playing a sport, you could play a sport like soccer or run around for many hours and you’re not really that sore. But when you get home and lay on the couch you can be in extreme pain and everything hurts to move, your big toe is the exact same way!
  • As you get sore during the day, and he spent hours and hours walking on your big toe doing damage, it will hurt later. You must imagine that the more walking and damage you do, it creates microscopical cracks and biochemical damage in the ligaments, the bones and the joints. When you rest at night and your blood flows not flowing, your blood pools in these small areas and this causes throbbing damage.
  • Most people realize you start to feel better as you get up and start walking around, but this is only because that blood squeezed out from those microscopic torn and damaged regions.

How Can I Make My Big Toe Joint Feel Better At Night:

You have to think about this in two ways: how can I prevent this damage from happening in the first place, and how can I make the pain go away now.

How do you make the pain go away now?

  • This is where most of the products and medications come in handy.
  • The single easiest thing to do is to ice your foot before going to bed, doing this for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off is a great combination to make the swelling and soreness go down.

  • Trying a cream or an ointment like icy hot or bio freeze works great as well. Lots of studies have been done that once you put on bio freeze that your toe will stop throbbing while it is on just as good as ice.
  • You can also try anti-inflammatory gels like Voltaren gel. These can work really well in terms of removing the swelling and pain.
  • Also make sure you don’t have tight or heavy sheets pressing up against the big toe joint.
  • The most important thing is to prevent the pain from happening in the first place.

How do I prevent night time big toe joint pain?

  • The best way to prevent night time big toe joint pain is to stop your big toe from getting damage.
  • I can pretty much guarantee that if you were to just lay in bed all day for a couple weeks, you probably would not to have as bad night time foot pain. This means that you don’t truly have a nerve disease (Unless you are in the <1% of people that do have something bigger going on, then see your podiatrist!).
  • You have to make sure to wear good shoes and good orthotics. If you do this, 90% of the pain will go away in most people. You will have to do anything else.
  • The problem is most people don’t want to wear good running shoes, and don’t want to wear orthotics in the running shoes. But this really is the key. You can’t just keep wearing high heels or flats or flip-flops and expect to be pain free for the rest of your life. Especially while putting on weight and getting more stiff.
  • If you have a deformity, or broken bone or some more significant damage, you should go see your podiatrist or foot specialist. You may need an x-ray and you may need somebody to evaluate your foot structure. In most people it is just a chronic overuse injury.
A bone sput on top of my big toe
It’s possible to have a broken bone or even a large bone spur causing damage. In cases like this an X-ray is the only way to easily diagnose something like this.
  • If you do think that you have something more unusual going on go see your podiatrist for sure. You will feel much better and you’ll know for sure that nothing dangerous is going on.
  • But with great shoes and great orthotics you should feel 100% better within a month or two, but it’s not to be something that gets better overnight.

Throbbing Big Toe Pain At Night Causes:

  • These are the other possible causes of big toe foot pain. Remember I outlined the most likely cause is up top, but they’re not the only things that could be happening!
  • This is why we have podiatrists as your choice foot and ankle specialist, there are many more things that could be going wrong and may need medical or surgical correction.

Causes of throbbing big toe pain include:


As a bunion gets really sore during the day, it can definitely give you a noticeable throb at night.


Gout can come on quickly, but almost overnight it will lead to terrible throbbing pain.

Gout prevention
Gout prevention is best by avoiding high purine foods and having medication ready from your podiatrist!

Hallux rigidus.

Stiff arthritis and lack of bend in your big toe joint can lead to significant pain. This can get sore during the day and lead to throbbing at night time.


There are two small bones in your big toe joint, these can definitely have pain at night.

Sprained Big Toe. 

If you hyperextend your toe, this can lead to pain.

Turf toe.

Turf toe is an injury that occurs while jamming your big toe into the ground.

Broken Big Toe.

A broken bone can swell up and then cause nerve throbbing at night.

Swollen Toe.

Many things can cause a toe to swell, click on the link above if you have extensive swelling.

Dislocated Toe.

If your toe looks dislocated or displaced, click on the link above.

Flexor Hallucis Tendinitis

If you have a sore tendon at the joint, it may be tendinitis.

Foot Arthritis.

Arthritis can lead to extensive pain to the joint.

Big Toe Tendon Pain.

If you hyperextend the toe, the tendon might be injured.

Pinched Nerve in Big Toe.

If you have numbness, burning and tingling, this may cause extensive pain.

Pain to the Knuckle. 

If your big toe knuckle is hurting, click the link above.

Throbbing big toe pain at night
Throbbing big toe pain at night is not always a nerve problem, your brain just has less to focus on at night!

Throbbing Toe Pain at Night Causes:




Neuropathic Toe Pain