Five Possible Reasons Why You're Experiencing Joint Pain In Your Big Toe

Posted on: 13 April 2018

Finding the cause of big toe joint pain is important in stopping the pain. There are numerous possible causes of big toe joint pain. However, you may be able to easily narrow down the cause of your own symptoms by learning a little bit more about health conditions that cause pain in that area.

The following are five possible reasons why you're experiencing joint pain in your big toe. If you experience this type of joint pain, one of the following conditions is probably the cause:


Bunions occur when a patient's big toe shifts over time so that it turns inward and is positioned slightly on top of the index toe. Bunions are most common in female patients, and they are often a result of spending too much time in tight shoes that don't fit right.

Bunions can be treated through various stretching exercises that can help relieve the pain. However, in particularly severe situations, bunions require surgery for complete treatment.

Arthritis of the toe

Arthritis can cause joint pain in the big toe. Arthritis is most likely to be the culprit when joint pain occurs during waking when the foot pushes off the ground. Other signs that arthritis is the cause of joint pain include stiffness in the big toe and inflammation. 

Treatment for joint pain when arthritis is the cause will typically involve taking painkillers, applying ice to painful areas, using orthotics, and taking steroid injections. 

Turf toe

Turf toe is especially likely to be the cause of joint pain in the toe in patients who are athletic. Joint pain occurs because the big toe becomes hyperextended during athletic exertion.

Turf toe does not happen suddenly but is caused by years of toe trauma. It can be treated by engaging in athletic activities with more moderation. 


Gout can cause big toe joint pain. It is often accompanied by swelling and inflammation in the joint.

Gout occurs in patients whose bodies have high levels of uric acid that build up due to diet. Treatment for gout involves medication and also dietary changes. Certain foods and beverages like beer, refined carbohydrates, lobster, and red meat are known to provoke outbursts of gout. 


Sesamoiditis is a condition that is caused by two bones located at the bottom of the big toe. These bones are necessary for walking and other basic activities on the feet. Some activities that can cause or aggravate sesamoiditis include wearing uncomfortable shoes and engaging in activities that put pressure on the balls of the feet. 

Sesamoiditis can be treated by using orthotics, avoiding certain types of footwear, and reducing exertion from activities that cause the problem such as ballet.