Having a painful deformity with your big toe such as hallux rigidus can be quite debilitating since your big toe is an essential part of your mobility apparatus. You push off with it and it helps you to maintain balance while standing. A variety of issues can cause big toe pain, so be sure to see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis.

3 common causes of big toe pain include the following:

  • Gouty arthritis—Gout is a disease that creates severe pain and swelling in the joints, caused by excess uric acid in the blood. When the uric acid reaches a high enough concentration, it crystallizes out of the blood and into the joints with the big toe frequently being affected. Foods high in purines like red meats and shrimp should be avoided, and you should also reduce or eliminate alcohol from your diet if you are prone to gout attacks.
  • Bunions— A bunion is an enlargement of the joint of the big toe. As the joint is affected, a bony bump forms and the toe slowly bends into the other toes. The tendency to develop bunions is inherited, but wearing tight-fitting shoes can be a trigger.
  • Stiff big toe—The big toe condition known as hallux rigidus actually means “stiff big toe”. It is caused by inflammatory arthritis and makes the toe hard to bend. This causes mobility issues and can also be very painful.

If you are experiencing pain in your big toes, see your foot doctor for the best care. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal and Dr. Dolan Chowdhury treat a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high-quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.