Like any other body part, your big toe is prone to disease and injury that may cause varying degrees of pain and movement limitations. Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve big toe joint pain that do not involve surgery.
Here are some simple fixes you can try.
The RICE Method
RICE, an acronym for rest, ice, compress, and elevate, has four methods for controlling pain and swelling. Resting the toes can help them recover faster, while icing numbs the pain and swelling. Wrapping the toes in elastic bandages can also control inflammation and swelling. Also, keeping the foot and toe elevated encourages healthy circulation through the toes.
Oral Pain Medicine
Taking the right pain relievers is another way to ease big toe joint pain. Doctors may recommend non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to lessen pain and inflammation in your toe. These include oral medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
The pain relief can last for hours and even over a day. However, pain relievers can only manage symptoms and don’t address the reason behind the pain. Also, taking them continuously for a prolonged period can cause harmful side effects. For these reasons, they’re not ideal for long-term pain relief.
In some cases, oral medicines may not be enough. Your foot doctor may recommend injection therapy for a more targeted dose that goes straight to the affected area. These injections may contain steroids. The pain relief may be more immediate because the drug won’t need to pass through the gut first. However, just like oral medications, injected drugs only address the symptom of pain and not the root cause.
Comfy Shoes And Shoe Modifications
Your shoes always come into close contact with your toes. To reduce big toe joint pain, consider looser and comfier shoes. In particular, shoes with a rounded tip can give your toes enough room to rest.
You can also modify your existing shoes to keep your toes more comfortable and correct the posture and alignment of the entire body. Try insoles and shoe modifications. They can help disperse the weight of your body away from the toes.
Splints And Bunion Pads
Even if you try hard to rest, you’ll still need to walk and move around. Using a splint can help you keep your toes in a stable position. As you move, you’ll need a cushion in between your toes to keep them from extra stress. Paired with comfier shoes, you can distribute your weight more evenly to avoid adding pressure on your big toe.
As with many orthopedic conditions, physical therapy can help with big toe joint pain. Physical therapy will mobilize your big toe joint and strengthen your foot muscles. Also, your physical therapist can retrain your gait, so you can walk safely and painlessly again.
Your physical therapist can also teach you how to modify some of your daily activities to reduce pressure on your big toe. They can train you to change how you do tasks. Many of these exercises are focused on improving your gait to help you with walking. Aside from this, your therapist can also help with tasks like climbing stairs and driving.
Your physical therapists can also use other methods to relieve big toe joint pain. They can use electrical stimulation devices to repair any damaged tissues. Electrical waves can also help increase your threshold for pain.
Big Toe Joint Pain Treatment In Cincinnati, OH
For mild cases of big toe joint pain, you have the option of getting medications and therapy. You may also change some parts of your footwear and lifestyle to ease the pain off your toe. Before your condition gets any worse, consult with the experts.
The healthcare providers at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care are experts in treating orthopedic conditions, including big toe joint pain. Our team of podiatrists can help treat the pain in your big toe using nonsurgical methods.
If you need to schedule an appointment, you may fill out our online appointment request form. You may also call any of our 18 clinics around Cincinnati. We look forward to helping you get back to life!