Big Toe Pain

Arthritis is an extremely common pathological condition. Im sure you know many family members and friends with a diagnosis of some type of arthritis; young and old. Most of the time the arthritis involves the knees, hips, back, and shoulders. Is it possible to have arthritis in other joints? The answer is YES. Arthritis can occur across any joint in the body. There are multiple types of arthritis, which I will not cover in this blog, due to the sheer volume of information. What if you have arthritis in your big toe joint and its not Gout? What can be done to help alleviate your symptoms?

As with most medical conditions there are conservative and non-conservative measures.


  • Proper foot wear (Need I say it againYES)
    • Shoes that provide good support and stability

Shoe inserts:

  • Pain comes with motion and so there are certain things that you can ad to your shoes to potentially reduce the amount of motion at that joint.
  • Your Podiatrist can have a Pedorthist make a special insert that will limit motion at the big toe joint.

Physical therapy:

  • Contrast baths to decrease swelling and inflammation
  • Passive manipulation
  • Muscle strengthening exercises to help maintain range of motion


  • Oral anti-inflammatories
  • Steroids
  • Oral or by direct injection into the joint

Non-conservative (a.k.a Surgery):

There are multiple types of surgical treatment. The severity of the arthritis often dictates the procedure of choice. The more severe cases typically lead to a fusion of that joint. The idea of fusing the joint is based on range of motion. If you eliminate motion, you eliminate pain.

If you have been recently diagnosed with some form of arthritis in your big toe joint or any joint in your foot or ankle and are in need of care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Photo Credit: Giuliamar VIA

Category: Foot Pain

Tags: Foot, toe