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3 Possible Causes Of Toe Pain To Discuss With Your Podiatrist

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Toe pain makes it difficult to wear shoes and bear your weight properly. You might have toe pain due to an injury, and when that's the case, the pain should go away within a few days unless you have a fracture. If your toe has been seriously injured, or if you have chronic toe pain and you can't get relief, you should see a podiatrist for help. Here are three possible causes for your toe pain.

1. Arthritis

If arthritis develops in a toe joint, you could have chronic pain. Gout is a type of arthritis that is known for affecting your big toe, but your toe can develop osteoarthritis too. If you're having trouble managing your arthritis pain, you may need to take medications, get custom footwear or orthotics, or even have foot surgery.

Your podiatrist can suggest ways to manage your pain so you can stay as active as possible, and they can help you determine if and when surgery might be needed.

2. Nerve Damage

Nerve damage can cause burning or stinging pain in your toes. You might suddenly feel sharp jabs of pain while at the same time having a decrease in sensation that allows minor injuries to go unnoticed. Diabetes is one cause for nerve damage in your toes. Morton's neuroma is another. Sometimes the pain is so bad that it might keep you awake at night.

Treating pain from nerve damage may require medications, changes to footwear, topical pain relievers, and regular visits to a podiatrist who will monitor your condition. Surgery may sometimes be needed if the nerve pain is caused by compression. Controlling blood sugar might help if nerve pain is a complication of diabetes.

3. Hammertoe And Bunions

Hammertoe is a condition that causes a toe to bend in an abnormal position. A bunion is similar, but it usually affects the big toe. A common cause of these toe deformities is wearing shoes that squeeze the toes together, such as high heels with pointed toes.

It is often painful to wear shoes if you have one of these toe conditions. The affected toe may rub against the shoe, and this can cause calluses or corns to develop that are also painful.

Treating these foot problems involves changing your footwear, using orthotics, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and wearing pads to prevent friction. If your toe condition causes a lot of pain or makes it difficult to walk, your podiatrist might recommend foot surgery to correct the deformity.

Since there are several causes for toe pain, it's best to see a podiatrist for a diagnosis so you can start treatment if needed to keep your condition from getting worse.