When arthritis affects the big toe, it can lead to pain and stiffness, making it difficult to walk comfortably and maintain an active lifestyle.
Your natural, healthy gait (movement) pattern relies on your big toe, called the hallux, to have good flexibility and mobility. Think of the actions your big toe takes when you walk - taking on pressure that it needs to adapt to and then bending as you push off the ground. If your big toe joint (called your metatarsophalangeal joint) becomes stiff and less mobile because of arthritic changes to the joint, it can significantly disrupt your gait and cause great pain.
There are two categories of big toe arthritis based on the level of stiffness in the joint:
The symptoms of big toe arthritis depend on the cause and type of arthritis, but may include:
Big toe arthritis can have a few causes that may alter the types of symptoms you experience and the progression of the disease. These include:
Arthritis is a long-term condition, and as such, it requires a long-term focused approach with commitments to a healthier lifestyle, instead of a quick and temporary fix. To support your foot and big toe health, mobility and manage your painful symptoms, you may try:
Here at Matt Raden Podiatry, our trusted and experienced podiatrists listen to the concerns, goals and needs of our patients with big toe joint arthritis, and utilise a range of evidence-based treatment methods to help you get the best outcome for your ankle symptoms.
Every appointment starts with a comprehensive assessment to uncover the causes of your forefoot pain and joint stiffness, including whether any other factors could be at play, like a bone spur or involvement of the sesamoids located beneath the big toe joint. We’ll then create a tailored treatment plan based on the results. While the degenerative changes sustained in big toe joint arthritis are irreversible, there is a lot that can be done to help reduce your pain, improve your comfort, and optimise your mobility and quality of life. We may use:
If you have big toe joint arthritis or are experiencing pain and stiffness in your joint, our team is here to help - and to ensure you have the best experience doing so. We’re proud to go above and beyond for our patients, focusing not only on managing your pain and symptoms, but helping you get the best long-term outcomes.