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What is Toe Pain?

Toe pain is an uncomfortable sensation that is felt in the region of the toes. Toes contain bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. An injury or an infection to any of these structures can lead to the development of toe pain.

Toe Pain: Common Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Toe Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

The pain which is characterized by a throbbing or a piercing sensation can either be continuous or can last for a brief period of time. There can be many reasons which lead to the development of toe pain.

What are the Common Causes of Toe Pain?

Toe pain can be caused as a result of an increase in age. As we grow older, the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the toe are subjected to wear and tear, thus leading to the development of pain.

A toe injury can also damage its basic structure, thereby leading to the development of pain. The injuries can be an amputation of the toe, a stress fracture, burns, frostbite, dislocation, or a simple strain or a sprain.

Formation of bunions on the toes can also cause excruciating pain in that area.

Sometimes toe pain can develop as a result of a serious condition like an infection such as athlete's foot cellulitis or a bone infection.

Conditions like arthritis or a peripheral disease of the artery can also lead to the development of toe pain.

According to the Mayoclinic article, the peripheral artery disease is a serious condition which is caused by the deposition of fat on the walls of the artery. Bone tumor and an ingrown toenail can also cause toe pain. [1]

Toe Pain Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out for

Apart from the evident pain in the toe region, there are many signs and symptoms which characterize this condition. The toe pain symptoms will vary with the underlying cause of the disease. The common symptoms of toe pain are as follows.

  • A burning feeling in the region of the toes
  • Difficulty in moving the toes
  • Numbness, discoloration of skin, and swelling in the toe region
  • At certain times, toe pain can occur along with certain other serious conditions. You may experience confusion, high body temperature, shortness of breath, and soreness of the toes.

    In such a case, it is necessary that you seek immediate medical help.

    How Toe Pain Can be Diagnosed?

    The diagnosis of toe pain will be done in many ways.

    • The toe doctor will take a log of your daily activities to diagnose your condition.
    • Your medical history and the intensity of the pain will also play a major part in the toe pain diagnosis.
    • A physical examination will be conducted to analyze the cause of the problem.
    • An X-Ray or a CT scan will also be ordered to assess the severity of the condition.
    • If these tests are unable to reveal the cause of your discomfort, then the doctor will go for an MRI.

    What are the Possible Complications of Toe Pain?

    If not treated properly, the condition of toe pain can give rise to many other complications. If the toe pain is caused as a result of a bruise or a wound in the toe, then the wound should be treated immediately.

    Failure to do so can increase the chances of contracting an infection in the region. The painful toe infection can subsequently give rise to other conditions like rashes, swelling, and sore formation in the skin.

    Toe pains that arise as a result of a fracture in the toe bone should also be taken seriously. [2]

    If the fractured bone doesn’t heal, then the toe joint can bend and be out of place. This is a painful situation where you will also experience toe pain when walking.

    What is the Treatment for Toe Pain?

    The treatment of toe pain will depend on the underlying cause and condition. If there is no fracture and the pain is caused by a simple sprain or strain, then the toe pain will subside within a few days.

    If the pain is caused due to a slight fracture of the tendons, then taking appropriate rest will help the cause. You can also have pain relievers, elevate your leg, and keep ice packs so as to get rid of the pain.

    If the fracture is serious, then you may have to go in for surgery.

    If the pain is caused by the development of corns and calluses, then you can remove the extra skin at first with the help of a pumice stone. [3]

    Wearing better fitting shoes will also help in reducing the pain in the toe region. You can take help of this Turmeric Curcumin Plus Review, which is a pain relief supplement that can also help to get rid of Toe pain.

    Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and prednisone are prescribed to get relief from toe pain.

    If the condition of toe pain is caused by toe pain gout, then you should have medications such as Curamin and also take ample rest to combat the condition.

    If the pain is due to a severe ingrown toenail, you can try some home remedies for toe pain. Soak the infected toe in hot water to which Epsom salts are added, for 15 minutes.

    Repeating this process for 4 to 5 times a day will help to sanitize the skin, clear the infections, and reduce toe pain. After soaking, you can slowly push the inflamed skin from the ingrown nail by using a soapy Q tip.

    In order to prevent the occurrence of toe pain, you should follow the steps below.

    • To prevent toe pain, you will need to keep the region of the toes clean and healthy.
    • Be aware of the age-related changes that can happen to your toes. Take care not to put too much stress or strain on the region of the toes.
    • Wear footwear that fits you properly.

    One can also try a supplement for toe pain. Have a look at Topricin Review as this cream is designed to soothe you from the toe and joint pain.

    Expert's Opinion

    According to the literature provided by the National Institute of Health (NIH), foot pain can be caused by many reasons ranging from a simple sprain to a serious condition like arthritis.

    If the pain is less, then many home remedies can be tried out before resorting to taking medical help.

    You are also advised to seek immediate medical help if your present form of home treatment fails to give substantial results even after 2 weeks.

    Patients who have diabetes or a disease that limits the blood flow should also get immediate help if they experience continuous and unrelenting toe pain.

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3 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Peripheral artery disease (PAD):
[2] Toe and Metatarsal Fractures (Broken Toes):
[3] Corns and Calluses:
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Lynn Webster, MD

Lynn R. Webster, MD, is a vice president of scientific affairs for PRA Health Sciences and consults with the pharmaceutical industry.