If you are experiencing big toe pain, it’s possible you have a disorder called Hallux Rigidus. The name literally means “stiff big toe”, which is the primary symptom patients experience. If left untreated it can become increasingly uncomfortable, which is why it is important to keep track of symptoms and stay informed.
Hallux Rigidus is a common form of degenerative arthritis, characterized by pain and stiffness in the MTP joint. The MTP joint is where the big toe meets the rest of the foot (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). Signs and symptoms include big toe stiffness, difficulty bending the toe, discomfort while wearing shoes, pain when walking or standing, swelling near the joint and more. As it progresses it can lead to knee, hip, and lower back pain as well (Cedars Sinai, 2021).
The exact cause of Hallux Rigidus is unknown. Once symptoms arise, however, it is important to consult a podiatrist. With tests and x-rays podiatrists can determine the best treatment method. Treatment examples include personalized orthotic shoe inserts, injections that address inflammation and pain, foot soaks, physical therapy, and more. It is also very important to wear comfortable, roomy shoes- high heels should be avoided (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). Surgery might be recommended in serious cases.
If actively treated, Hallux Rigidus should not interrupt daily activities. Consulting a podiatrist can prevent progression and minimize pain and inflammation. If you believe you might have Hallux Rigidus or have questions about the condition, give us a call to set up an appointment. Our physicians are here to answer any of your questions and address any concerns you may have.