The big toe, also called the hallux, is responsible for essential functions such as lifting and balance.
This toe is also particularly susceptible to trauma and external stress.
In this regard, sharp pain in the big toe can prove to be burdensome and even debilitating.
Read on to learn 5 ways to avoid big toe pain.
1. Take good care of your toenails
While toe pain usually occurs as a result of sudden shock, it can also happen due to a lack of care.
The following situations can result in severe pain in the big toe:
- An ingrown nail;
- Brittle nails;
Thanks to a consistent toenail care routine, you can avoid these inconveniences and save yourself a trip to the podiatrist.
However, if you catch the beginnings of an ingrown toenail, you must not leave it unattended.
In fact, without proper podiatric attention, it could cause lesions and even pave the way for other, more serious infections.
2. Change your shoes
The type of shoes you wear also has an effect on the condition of your feet.
Actually, if you suffer from one of the following conditions, it could indicate that your shoes may be responsible for your toe discomfort:
- Recurring blisters on the outer edge of the toe;
- Nail fungus;
- Stress fractures;
- Excessive foot sweat;
- Athlete’s foot.
The fact that the big toe is in constant contact with the shoe shank, it is even more susceptible to be damaged by a shoe that is too worn or inadequate.
To reduce the risk of big toe pain, you should make sure that your shoes are tailored to the characteristics of your feet.
Among other things, they should include the following:
- A toe wide enough not to constrict your toes;
- A sole adapted to your arch, even with flat or hollow feet;
- Adequate ventilation;
- Good heel support.
If you are unsure of your feet’s morphological features, you should consider contacting a podiatrist for a biomechanical examination or 2D / 3D scan.
3. Avoid high heels
Bunions or hallux valgus are among the main causes of big toe pain.
Although they aren’t directly responsible for this type of foot injury, high-heeled shoes can definitely aggravate the symptoms.
Seeing as hallux valgus can easily lead to a hammertoe diagnosis or big toe osteoarthritis, shoes with heels should be worn in moderation.
4. Keep your toes properly hydrated
Dry feet can also cause big toe pain, if poorly controlled.
This can result in dermatological problems such as:
Both conditions suggest that your feet might benefit from extra hydration.
In order to treat this, you should look into incorporating foot care into your daily routine:
- Wash your feet, and pay attention to the skin between the toes;
- Remove excess dry skin with a soft rub or pumice stone;
- Dry your feet, without neglecting the toes;
- Having washed and dried your feet, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer.
If you suspect that you may have an infection, it is recommended not to remove the dead skin yourself.
Instead, reach out to a podiatrist.
5. Consult a podiatrist
Though there are several ways to prevent pain in the big toe, some issues require the help of a podiatrist.
The podiatrist will be able to analyze the symptoms that define your discomfort and offer you solutions, such as: