It might have happened that you have felt a tingling sensation in your toes which might have been really annoying and painful. Several conditions can cause toe pain if left untreated such as ingrown toenails or even broken bones. So, if you are someone who is also wondering, “Why does my toes hurt?“, then here are various possible reasons for your toe pain. If you have any acute injuries, it will be beneficial for you to seek medical attention immediately.
1. Reasons for Toe Pain
There can be several causes that you experience toe pain, some of which are absolutely normal, such as fever or wearing poorly fitting shoes or high-heeled shoes. However, even after fixing those habits, if the toe pain still seems to worsen for you and you start to experience a rapid burning pain, then you should waste no time and seek treatment.
1.1. You Might Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
One of the causes of the pain can be Rheumatoid arthritis. It is a kind of disorder which mainly affects the toe joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, your toe joints can become more thick and even your other body parts can get affected because of this disorder such as your eyes, lungs, and even your heart. It happens when your body’s immune system turns against you for unknown reasons.
Certain early symptoms of this disorder include pain in your toe joint. A toe joint will become more swollen comparatively and you may also suffer from fever and a feeling of fatigue. You can diagnose this issue either through a physical examination or blood tests and a CT scan. You can take the help of anti-rheumatic drugs, or steroids, or even go to a physical therapist to improve the conditions of your toe pain because other complications may occur if left untreated.
1.2. Chronic Toe Pain
There are certain conditions that can cause chronic toe pain:-
Nerve compression is one of the causes of toe pain which can cause severe burning pain between your toes. It can happen due to excess pressure on your nerves from wearing tight shoes or standing or moving your feet in an uneasy position.
One of the major causes of toe pain is when you get an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail grows to such an extent that it pierces the skin which is located around your nail and hence, causes swelling or a severe infection.
Bunions can also be one of the causes of toe pain. It is basically a malformation of your feet that affects your big toe. It can lead to your big toe to point inwards which leads to your big toe pain and also causes difficulty in walking.
Certain toe deformities such as hammer toe can be one of the causes of toe pain. These deformities such as hammer toes can arise from common toe injuries or any kind of trauma to your foot.
1.3. Foot Injury
If you experience sudden pain in your toe bones, then there are chances of certain kinds of foot injuries such as:-
1.3.1. Sprain or Turf Toe
This is a common toe pain among football players as the affected toe in this kind of foot injury is the big toe. Turf toe generally happens because of the hyperextension in the big toe. If you generally play football or soccer and indulge in other physical activities and you are experiencing toe pain or joint pain, then you might have a turf toe and you should get yourself checked and take pain medications.
1.3.2. Fracture in Your Toes
If you feel severe pain in your toes or feet, then there must be a possibility that you have fractured your feet or toes. Wearing tight shoes or high heels can lead to fractures in your toes as high heels put much more pressure on your toes than you can even imagine. The small bones present in your third and fourth toes are fragile and they can get fractured easily as a result.
If your toe hurts really bad, then you might have got a broken toe or even heel spurs. It is hard to spot if your fourth toe has broken as it may take days or weeks to even realize it. You can wear properly fitting footwear or flat feet shoes to avoid extreme pressure on your toes. You can even get a physical examination done if you get your toe hurt.
1.4. Bone Spurs
Sometimes excess bone growth occurs because of genetics or some injuries. Bone spurs are often painless but when they grow much, it can cause a lot of toe pain. It can also affect your sesamoid bones which can cause joint and foot pain. In case, you suddenly increase your feet activities or overstretch your feet, increases stress on your heels, affecting your plantar fasciitis.
1.5. You May Have Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma affects the fibrous tissue which is located in your football. The tissue thickens because of trauma, irritation, and compression to your feet. Wearing shoes that are tight and high-heeled can worsen your toe pain. You will have burning foot pain especially when you run or walk if you have got affected by it.
There are no such treatment options, it usually gets healed on its own. You can change to better-fitting shoes having arch support or orthotic shoe inserts as it will reduce the pressure from your nerves and blood vessels.
1.6. You May Have Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is caused if there is a complication in your psoriasis. Your skin will get red and thickened if you are affected by it. Other symptoms include pain in toe joints, your fingers getting swollen, and low back pain. You should visit a primary care doctor as soon as possible otherwise it can permanently damage your joints, heart, and eyes. You can take blood tests and do x-rays to know if you have got psoriatic arthritis.
Gout is a kind of inflammatory arthritis. It causes stiffness and swelling in your toe joint. The reason behind inflammatory arthritis can be uric acid crystals. You can see your big toe joint getting affected and sometimes, the big toe joint can also get hot and red.
If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should go for physical therapy. Doctors can recommend certain medications that can stop your body from making excess uric acid. Other treatment options also include taking pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications to treat toe pain.
These are certain causes of toe pain that may affect you too much. The burning pain and sensation can increase over time and may worsen, if not treated in a proper way at a proper time. So, in case, if you have any of these symptoms, make sure to get yourself checked and take proper medication.
2. Home Remedies to Treat Your Toe Pain
If you are having mild toe pain, then there is a possibility that there is just an inflammation of a bone due to an excess amount of pressure or trauma to your toe or feet and it can be treated at home by following these certain steps:-
- You can use toe separators.
- You can wear cushioned shoes or walk barefoot at home rather than wearing tight-fitted shoes and stressing your toes.
- If you are involved in certain physical activities like baseball or football, then take a break from those activities and give yourself proper rest.
- You can use warm or cool compresses to relieve your foot pain.
- You should take anti-inflammatory medicines and certain medications to reduce uric acid formation in your body to stop triggering toe pain.
- If you have a minor injury or any sprain, you should take an ice pack to alleviate your toe pain.
3. How to Know If It Is an Emergency?
Well, there can be certain scenarios of toe pain that should not be treated normally and is a serious medical concern that requires immediate medical attention. Some of them are:-
- If you are suffering from fever or any nail infection.
- If your toe is bleeding severely.
- If you are suspecting any fracture in your toe.
- If you have severe swelling in your toe.
- If you get any kind of wound or infection in your toe that is not healing.
If you are going through any of these issues and suspect a serious medical condition, you should immediately seek medical help and have a proper diet.
4. When You Should Visit a Doctor?
If you are suspecting chronic toe pain and you feel that it deserves medical attention, you should visit the doctor and after a blood test and physical examination, doctors may recommend you do the following:-
4.1. Removal of Wart
If the doctor recognizes that the reason for your toe pain is due to wart accumulation, then he might suggest wart removal to decrease your toe pain. There are several types of removal processes and your doctor will suggest the best removal process appropriate for you.
4.2. Taking Medications
If the doctor sees that the reason for your toe pain is gout or arthritis, he may suggest medication that will be beneficial to control the symptoms that trigger the illness. If in case, you have a foot or toe infection, you might be recommended antibiotics to cure the toe pain.
4.3. Wearing Special Shoes
If in case, your toe pain is due to bunions or any kind of deformity and the doctor suspects it, then he might prescribe you to wear special shoes or orthotics shoe inserts which will help support your feet and decrease toe pain.
4.4. Taking a Surgery
If your toe pains because of a structural issue or bunions, then your doctor might suggest you get the surgery done to help permanently resolve your issue. An orthopedic surgeon can help you decide which kind of surgery needs to be done to treat your toe pain.
4.5. Taking Steroid Injection
Your doctor may even prescribe steroid injections if he suspects any kind of infection or inflammation causing toe pain.
Rember that it is always good to take help from a professional who has enough knowledge and will be able to help you out. If the doctor suggests you take an x-ray or get an MRI or a blood test done, make sure to get those examinations done without any delay and take the medication that is suggested to you for appropriate treatment.
If you are someone who is currently going through the pain and not really sure what to do about it, you can refer to this article for all the possible causes that are leading to your toe pain. You can go through the alarming signs and symptoms and then you can decide accordingly.
If it is just a normal swelling or inflammation due to trauma or just an ingrown toenail, then you can take certain measures or the help of home remedies to cure the pain. If, in case, you notice your big toe pain or pain in the joint, then it might be alarming as the reason for your big toe pain can be because of any deformity or stress or fracture, or it might be some disorder. Make sure to get the big toe checked and take certain medication or surgery, if needed.
1. Why do my big toes curl up?
Sometimes, there can be deformity or genetic issues for your structure formation and that might lead to your big toes curling up. Also, you might also get affected with bunions which is a malformation of your feet that affects your big toe to curl up and can cause difficulties in walking.
2. Why does my ingrown toenail affect my toe pain?
An ingrown toenail affects your toe pain as it plunges out of your nail fold and pierces your skin, causing swelling, redness, and infection. As a result, your skin gets tender and gets affected by touch which stresses your toe pain.
3. What do I need to do if I get an ingrown toenail?
In case, you have an ingrown toenail, you need to soak your affected toe in an Epsom salt solution. You can put your toe inside the water and rub your affected area with Epsom salt for better results.