A Common and Seldom Heard of Cause of Toe Pain

Published: 2011-11-21 09:54:46
Author: Catherine Moyer, DPM

The big toe joint is surprisingly one of the most problem-prone areas of the foot. It is the part of the foot where we frequently see chronic pain, arthritis, and gout. The big toe joint (first metatarsophalangeal joint) is an important pivot-point when we walk and run and it requires an adequate amount of flexiblity. A lack of adequate flexibility at the big toe joint is known as hallux limitus. Hallux limitus (which sounds more like something from a sci-fi movie) literally means a stiff big toe joint. It often leads to arthritis and toe pain that is worsened by activity. Conditions that can lead to hallux limitus include hereditary foot shape or previous trauma to the big toe joint. Hallux limitus not only causes problems at the big toe joint--it can lead to increased stress on other parts of the body as well, including the back.