Toe Pain?

Information provided for educational purposes only. For diagnosis, individualized treatment, and medical advice please make an appointment to visit our qualified podiatrists. Northwest Foot and Ankle Specialists treats a variety of conditions not limited to what is listed here.

Toe pain

The human foot consists of multiple bones and soft tissues which support the weight of the upright human. Specifically, the toes assist the human while walking, providing balance, weight-bearing, and thrust during gait. There are five toes present on each human foot. Each toe consists of three phalanx bones, the proximal, middle and distal, with the exception of the big toe (Hallux). The hallux only contains two phalanx bones, the proximal and distal. Toe movement is generally flexion and extension via muscular tendons that attach to the toes on the anterior and superior surfaces of the phalanx bones.

Possible Conditions

Hammer toes

Hammer Toes

A hammer toe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side.

 Symptoms

Pain, redness, swelling at the top of the bent toe or ball of the foot at the base of the affected toe


 Causes

Abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes, heredity, trauma, arthritis, improper footwear


 Home Treatments

Commercial, non-medicated hammer toe pad, ice, NSAIDs

Surgery may be required


 When to See a Doctor

If pain persists, see a podiatrist. If left untreated, hammer toes tend to become rigid, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.

Neuromas

Neuromas

A benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.

 Symptoms

Pain, swelling, tingling, and numbess in the forefoot, between the toes, and ball of foot


 Causes

Biomechanical deformities, trauma, improper footwear


 Home Treatments

Rest, ice, wider shoes with adequate padding

Surgery may be required


 When to See a Doctor

Podiatric medical care should be sought at the first sign of pain or discomfort. If left untreated, neuromas tend to get worse.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown nails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.

 Symptoms

Pain, redness and swelling, drainage, odor, prominent skin tissue


 Causes

Improperly trimmed nails, heredity, shoe pressure crowding of toes, repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities


 Home Treatments

Immerse the foot in a warm salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area. Other “do-it-yourself” treatments, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications, should be avoided.


 When to See a Doctor

You should see a podiatrist immediately if any drainage or excessive redness is present around the toenail.