Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Understanding Pain and Discomfort of Toe Arthritis

Arthritis in the toe, a common ailment affecting many individuals, manifests through various symptoms that can significantly impact daily life. Persistent toe pain, particularly during movement or weight-bearing activities, are hallmark symptoms of toe arthritis. Individuals may experience stiffness and limited range of motion in the affected toe, making tasks like walking, bending, and standing challenging and painful. Swelling and inflammation surrounding the toe joint are also common symptoms of arthritis, indicating underlying joint damage and inflammation. As arthritis progresses, individuals may notice changes in the appearance and alignment of the toe, such as swelling, deformities, and bone spurs. Additionally, toe arthritis can cause instability and weakness in the affected joint, leading to difficulty bearing weight and maintaining balance. If you are experiencing toe pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can diagnose the cause, and offer appropriate relief and treatment options.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Richard P. Jacoby, DPM of Extremity Health Centers. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Scottsdale and Buckeye, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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