Toe pain can have many causes, including trauma, bunions, corns, fractures, and gout. Other causes of toe pain include ingrown toenails, hammertoe, arthritis, and improper footwear. Still other causes of toe pain are athlete’s foot, arthritis, and turf toe. Among the symptoms you may experience are a burning feeling or warmth in the joint, difficulty moving the toe, bruising or skin discoloration, and swelling. To find out the exact cause of the pain, a podiatrist can start by taking a history, such as the location of the pain, when it started, the severity of the pain, and the type of pain. Is it a dull, throbbing sensation or an acute, sharp pain? Is the pain constant or does it come and go? Next a visual examination is likely. If a toe is severely bruised, it may indicate that an X-ray or other imaging test is needed to determine the cause. In some cases, as with diabetic patients, runners, or athletes, a more in-depth history and examination may be necessary. Once the cause is determined, a podiatrist can suggest the proper treatment plan for you.
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:
- Sports injury
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Corns and calluses
- Ingrown toenails
- Fractures (broken bones)
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 our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.