Gout can cause pain in the toes. Gout is an inflammatory condition in which crystals periodically deposit in joints, causing severe pain and swelling. The big toe is often affected by gout. Treatment for gout includes rest, medications such as colchicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), or prednisone, and daily medication and diet considerations to prevent gout attacks.
A bunion is a bony bump along the edge of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. Bunions are often caused by poorly fitting footwear in women. Hammer toes often occur together with bunions. Treatment includes changes in footwear, orthotics, and surgery.
Hammer toe and claw toe
- Hammer toe occurs when the near joint in the toe is bent, creating a hammer-like appearance. The most common cause is a muscle-tendon imbalance, which leads to bending of the toe. Wearing tight shoes often causes hammer toe.
- Claw toe occurs when the joint at the end of a toe may become unable to straighten, causing the toe to point down or up. This is often the result of nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which weakens the muscles in the foot. Without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe, other foot problems often develop.
Treatment of hammer toe and claw toe includes changes in footwear, orthotics, stretching exercises for the toes and toe joints, and surgery.
Ingrown toenails occur when skin on one or both sides of a toenail grow over the nail. Ingrown toenails may be painful or lead to infections. Treatment includes soaking the foot in warm water several times a day. Patients who experience ingrown toenails, particularly patients with diabetes, can have their toenails trimmed regularly by a podiatrist to prevent this condition.
Hallux rigidus (stiff big toe) is a degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) at the base of the big toe. Pain and stiffness of the joint, worsening over time, are symptoms. Treatment can include pain relievers and stretching exercises. Surgery may be needed in some cases.
The podiatrists at Oakland Regional Hospital treat these and many other conditions of the feet. If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, click below to make an appointment for a consultation. Or, call the Appointment Hotline at (248) 423-8484.