Big toe joint pain and swelling
Find out more about big toe joint pain and swelling
Big toe joint pain and swelling are common symptoms of several diseases we know today. Unfortunately, most of them come with no sign or promise for full recovery. However, getting better and reducing swelling or making pain more bearable and less long-lasting are good steps to come back to normal, to live your life with no drastic limits. But to achieve all of these, it is a must to be fully aware of your exact diagnose. This is a thing your doctor can tell you for sure. Although, there is nothing bad in reading some basic information about the common and top reasons for big toe join pain and swelling in advance to get yourself ready for the treatment.
Pain in your big toe joint can make you miserable. The first metatarsophalangeal joint (1st MTPJ) is the joint that connects the big toe to the first metatarsal bone of the forefoot. Even though the joints of the toes are small, they are important for healthy foot functioning. These joints endure significant weight-bearing stress. When they are hurting, you are in for a bad day. Some of the problems that most frequently occur at this joint include these six conditions. When swelling is added to the pain, it becomes quite even more serious.
Ingrown toe nails most commonly affect the big toe and develop when the curved edges at the side of the nail cut through the skin. The symptoms include big toe pain, swelling and redness. Left untreated, an infection may develop causing pus to ooze out of the wound. Ingrown toenails are usually caused by poor foot care, improper nail trimming, injury, wearing shoes that are too tight and even genetics – the shape of your toenail may make the problem more likely. Treatment consists of appropriate nail trimming (ideally by a podiatrist), foot soaks, anti-inflammatories and gently pushing the skin away from the nail. In severe cases, surgery may be required. You can find out more about the common causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention options in the ingrown toe nail section.
Underneath the big toe are two small pea-shaped bones, known as sesamoid bones which sit inside the tendons that run to the big toe. They work like a pulley for the tendons to move the toe and play an important role in the push-off phase of walking. Sesamoiditis occurs when there is inflammation of the sesamoid bones and surrounding tendons. This is usually caused by frequently wearing high-heeled shoes, activities that place lots of pressure through the ball of the foot such as ballet or suddenly increasing activity levels where you put more pressure on the ball of your foot such as running. The most common symptoms are big toe pain, particularly underneath the toe and in the ball of the foot which develops gradually over time, comes and goes and gets worse when you are on your feet. It may be painful to move your big toe and occasionally there may be some swelling or bruising. Treatment focuses on reducing the pressure through the area by wearing comfortable shoes, using padded shoe inserts or taping the big toe as well as reducing the big toe pain and inflammation with rest, regular ice treatment and occasionally a steroid injection.
In the MTP joint, like other joints in the body, the ends of the bones are covered with articular cartilage, a slick substance that aids in smooth joint movement. Gradual wear and tear or acute injury can cause articular cartilage to break down - a process known as osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis. The resulting bone-on-bone contact produces pain and inflammation. As part of the degenerative process, bone spurs (osteophytes) may develop on top of the bones, and the joint space may narrow, reducing the joint's upward bending motion. This can impinge on the way you walk and contribute to pain in the ball of the foot and even the back. It's not entirely clear why hallux rigidus develops in some people and not in others. Hereditary or congenital defects in the foot or faulty foot mechanics can place chronic stress on the big toe joint, triggering arthritis. Certain athletic injuries have also been implicated.
Taking under consideration both symptoms: swelling and pain, big toe joint is usually treated with non-surgical remedies and solutions at first. Only, if the intervention is needed, it is prescribed with an afterwards rehabilitation.