Online Reviews

Your toes, like anything else, can wear out over time, especially if you do a lot of running or walking. Every step you take bends your big toe joint toward the top of your foot, and then you put even more pressure on it as you push off to switch your body’s weight to the other leg. Every mile you walk, your joint moves in this way about 2,500 times. Now think of how many miles you’ve walked in your life, and you get the picture. This big toe joint endures a lot of stress!

Why Is My Toe Stiff?

The feet you were born with can be one reason for your toe problems. If you have a condition called flat feet, your big toe may not have the usual range of motion. The same thing can occur when your second toe is longer than your big toe. Repeated trauma to your toe from running, or from a typical athletic injury called turf toe, can also keep the joint from operating properly. Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or gout can affect it, as can shoes that don’t leave enough room for the toes to splay out. The stiffness can get worse, and you may end up not being able to move the toe at all (hallux rigidus).

How Will Hallux Limitus Affect Me?

You may notice a callus forming on the edge of your big toe, and there may be a bump on top of the toe at the joint closest to your foot – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. As the condition worsens, you will begin to feel pain when you walk or squat. You may notice that the toe doesn’t bend as far when you walk. When you look back at your tracks n sand or in snow, you may see that they are toed out. These symptoms are signs that the limited movement in your joint is throwing off your stride, which can then affect other parts of your foot, ankle, legs or back. It is best to seek help as soon as possible for toe abnormalities, so they don’t progress into something worse. Contact Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic for an examination and learn how you can deal with this problem.

Are There Treatments for Stiff Big Toes?

Some home remedies can help with the stiffness and pain. Try the RICE regime – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – to reduce swelling and relieve pain. We can instruct you on stretching and strengthening exercises to help increase mobility and correct the position of the toe. We can also recommend shoe styles that may help, or prescribe custom orthotics that can correct your gait and relieve symptoms. Cushioning pads can be used in shoes to reduce irritation on the joint. As a last resort, if the conservative measures don’t bring enough relief to let you enjoy your normal activities, surgical options are available to realign the joint.

Don’t let a painful, stiff big toe cramp your style! Set up a visit with Dr. Andrew Irvine at our Pacific Place Medical Clinic, Scenic Acres Medical Clinic, or Deer Valley Family Medical locations in Calgary, Alberta today. Call (403) 477-3338, or request an appointment online. Our goal is to get you walking again without pain! 

FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube PinterestBloggerGoogle+Our Blog

Do you have any comments or suggestions? Fill out our online "Comment Card." We'd love some feedback!