If you are having difficulty bending your big toe, you may have a condition that is called hallux rigidus which means “stiff big toe joint”. Various types of arthritis often attack the big toe joint, but the condition can also be caused and exacerbated by gout or a physical deformity like flat feet. While degenerative arthritis is an inevitable part of aging, gout can be prevented through a proper diet and flat feet can be treated with the right footwear and custom arch supports.
Some treatments for a stiff and painful big toe include the following:
- Steroid treatment—Steroid medication can be injected into the big toe joint to improve movement. This procedure often requires several injections over a period of weeks and may have side effects that you should discuss with your foot doctor.
- Properly fitted shoes with orthotic inserts—Properly fitted footwear with a wider toe box will allow for the insertion of specially-made orthotics that can shift the stress and pressure away from the big toe joint.
- Medication—Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used in moderation to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Stiffness in the big toe can become chronic if left untreated, and since rigidity in the big toe joint can also be caused by a bunion, you should consult with your podiatrist for the correct diagnosis.
If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in your big toe your foot doctor can help. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high-quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.