What Is Great Toe Arthritis?
Great Toe arthritis or hallux rigidus occurs when arthritis affects the joint at the base of your Great Toe, called the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This condition worsens over time, decreasing the toe’s motion and making it difficult to walk or stand.
Joint degeneration due to arthritis causes your bones to rub together, resulting in stiffness. It also leads to bone growths called spurs that further restrict movement. In some cases, the stiffness may worsen when the weather is cold, causing the joints to swell and become inflamed.
This condition commonly affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60 and can develop due to the following:
- Overuse of the joint
- An injury to the toe, like stubbing it or spraining the joint
- Other medical conditions like gout or rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of Great Toe Arthritis
Hallux rigidus translates to “stiff big toe,” which is the primary symptom of this condition. Other symptoms include:
- Swelling and redness
- Aggravating pain when standing, walking, or running
- Pain in the big toe when resting
- Bump, bunion, or callus
- Difficulty standing or walking
It is essential to pay attention to the symptoms of big toe arthritis because it is easier to treat when caught early. Great Toe arthritis is more challenging to address when bone spurs have developed.
Treatments for Great Toe Arthritis
Getting early treatment for Great Toe arthritis significantly reduces the risk of needing surgery in the future. Below are some treatment options to consider.
To relieve early symptoms of Great Toe arthritis, you should rest your feet and avoid standing and walking for some time. You can also try a contrast bath in which you soak your foot in cold water for 30 seconds, then place it in warm water for another 30 seconds. Repeat this for 5 minutes, making sure that your last soak is in cold water.
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