The joint of the big toe hurts than to treat and how, the causes of pain

If the joint of the thumb hurts the leg, then you need to find the cause of the discomfort. Often, an inflammatory or degenerative-dystrophic pathology manifests itself in this way. With timely diagnosis and proper conservative treatment, it is possible to stop it at the initial stage of development. But the constant use of analgesics and the lack of medical intervention often leads to the rapid progression of the disease.

Why can the thumb joint hurt?

Pain in the joint of the big toe often occurs when wearing new shoes and is usually caused by the formation of corns or rubbing. In such cases, it quickly weakens immediately after skin healing.

The development of pathology is indicated by the appearance of pain more than once a week, a gradual increase in its intensity. Indirect signs of an inflammatory or destructive process are swelling and redness of the skin over the joint, its stiffness.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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If the patient complains of pain in the joint of the big toe, the doctor first of all suggests the development of rheumatoid arthritis. This is a serious pathology, not yet amenable to final cure. But long-term use of drugs allows you to achieve a stable remission, inhibit the inflammatory process.

Infectious arthritis, which occurs due to the penetration of pathogenic bacteria into the joint cavity, can also cause pain. Antibiotic therapy helps to eliminate all symptoms of pathology.

Less often, the appearance of uncomfortable sensations provokes reactive arthritis, which develops due to an inadequate response of the immune system to the introduction of infectious or allergic agents. The disease in 60% of cases can be completely cured.


Pain in the toe occurs with arthrosis of 2 severity. And at the initial stage of development, occasionally only weak discomfort occurs after a long walk, weight lifting, intense sports training. It is in the absence of symptoms that the difficulties of treating this degenerative-dystrophic pathology lie. The patient consults a doctor if irreversible changes in cartilage and bone tissue have already occurred.

Pain of similar localization in men is a specific sign of damage to the toe with gouty arthritis. This joint is also involved in the inflammatory process in women, but usually a little later, after damage to the small joints of the hands. Gout develops due to dysregulation of purine synthesis in the body. The level of uric acid and its salts rises, and then they crystallize, accumulate and are deposited in the joints, irritating the tissues, causing the development of inflammation. An indirect confirmation of a gouty attack is redness of the finger, a strong increase in local temperature.


This is an acute, subacute or chronic inflammation of the synovial sac, accompanied by the accumulation of exudate in its cavity. Bursitis is infectious, developing after penetration of pathogenic microorganisms into the joint, for example, with injuries.

It can be caused by respiratory, urogenital, intestinal infections. After contacting a doctor, patients are prescribed antibiotics for the treatment of bursitis to destroy pathogenic bacteria and eliminate symptoms.

Tendon inflammation

Tendonitis is an inflammatory pathology that affects tendons. It develops as a result of a single or regular increased load on the joint of the big toe. If a person does not seek medical help, then tendonitis becomes chronic. Finger pain appears when the weather changes, hypothermia, SARS. Gradually, the structure of the tendon changes pathologically, which leads to impaired gait.

With tendovaginitis, connective tissue cords are also inflamed, but only those that have vaginas. The reasons for the development of this disease can be monotonous, often repeated movements, and rheumatic or infectious processes.

Morton’s neuroma

This is called the defeat of the plantar digital nerve at the level of the heads of the metatarsal bones as a result of compression of the transverse metatarsal ligament.

Morton’s neuroma appears due to wearing narrow high-heeled shoes, improper gait, overweight, and long walking. At risk are athletes and people working in a standing position.

A characteristic feature of Morton’s neuroma is the feeling of the presence of a foreign object in the shoe. Over time, the soreness in the finger may weaken, but when wearing tight shoes, another exacerbation occurs.


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This is a chronic metabolic disorder, which is characterized by insufficient formation of its own insulin and an increase in blood glucose. The course of diabetes is complicated by impaired functioning of almost all vital systems, including the musculoskeletal system. A serious consequence of the pathology becomes a diabetic foot.

In a patient with a similar condition, circulatory disorders in the lower leg, pain in the muscles and joints, destruction of bone and cartilage tissues are detected.

Nail ingrowth

The nail grows due to its too much pressure on the surrounding soft tissue. Most often, such a pathology affects the big toe.

As a result of the ingrowth of the nail plate, an acute inflammatory process develops in the periungual roller. There is severe pain spreading to the entire finger. Diagnosis is usually straightforward. On external examination, reddening of the skin and inflammatory swelling are clearly visible. Nail ingrowth is treated conservatively, but surgical intervention is often required – partial or complete removal of the nail plate.

Nature of pain

A jerking, throbbing pain in the finger indicates an acute course of the inflammatory process. Concomitant symptoms are almost always redness, smoothing, swelling of the skin. Small blood vessels overflow with blood, so the big toe becomes hot to the touch. All these signs are characteristic of the following pathologies:

  • gout;
  • infectious, rheumato >

A sharp piercing pain occurs at the time of injury to the joint – fracture, dislocation, bruise after a fall or directed blow. Weak discomfort in the big toe is one of the symptoms of developing arthrosis, deforming osteoarthrosis or osteoporosis. Their severity increases gradually and after a few months or years the pain in the joint becomes permanent.

Which doctor to contact

If you suspect a relationship between a previous injury and pain in a finger joint, you should make an appointment with a traumatologist. In all other cases, it is advisable to contact an orthopedist who is involved in the treatment of pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. A visit to a therapist will not be a mistake. He will appoint the necessary diagnostic measures, and after studying them, he will refer the patient to doctors of specialization – an orthopedist, rheumatologist, and traumatologist.

Diagnosis of the disease

The diagnosis is made on the basis of patient complaints, medical history, results of an external examination and instrumental studies. The most informative radiography. The obtained images clearly visualize changes in the structure of bone and cartilage tissues characteristic of gout, deforming arthrosis, and some types of arthritis.

Using MRI and CT, it is possible to assess the condition of connective tissue structures, blood vessels, nerves. If an infectious process is suspected, biochemical studies are conducted to establish the species affiliation of pathogenic microorganisms.


When determining therapeutic tactics, the doctor takes into account the type of pathology, the severity of its course, the number of complications that arose, the degree of tissue damage. Arthritis, arthrosis, tendonitis respond well to conservative therapy, but only when diagnosed in the initial stages of development.

Medication Therapy

To eliminate the pain that occurs during relapses of pathologies, glucocorticosteroids in combination with anesthetics, muscle relaxants can be used. But non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs always become the first choice drugs in the treatment of all diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Dosage form of NSAIDs used for pain in the joint of the toeName of systemic and local preparations
Ointments, gels, creams, balmsVoltaren, Dolgin, Fastum, Ketoprofen, Arthrosilen, Indomethacin, Bystrumgel
Tablets, capsules, dragees, powders for dilution in waterKetorol, Nise, Nimesil, Nimesulide, Nurofen, Ibuprofen, Etoricoxib, Celecoxib
Solutions for parenteral administrationMeloxicam, Movalis, Lornoxicam, Ketorolac, Ortofen, Diclofenac, Voltaren


Indications for surgical intervention are painless pain medication in the joint, developed complications, severe deformation of the joint. The method of operation is chosen by the attending physician. In severe cases, the entire joint is removed, followed by arthrodesis or the installation of an endoprosthesis. In other cases, bone or cartilage defects are excised, plastic ligaments or tendons.

Folk methods

The elimination of pain in the big toe of folk remedies is not only impractical, but also dangerous. If they are provoked by inflammation, then the use of alcohol tinctures or ointments with a warming effect will lead to the rapid spread of pathology to healthy tissues and joints.

Folk remedies are ineffective in the treatment of arthrosis, gout, infectious diseases. They can be used only after the main treatment with the permission of the doctor.


Classical, acupressure, vacuum massage is an effective way to treat all joint diseases. But they carry out medical procedures only after the restoration of injured joint structures, relief of acute inflammation and severe pain. At the rehabilitation stage, patients are shown massage to improve blood circulation and accelerate tissue regeneration.

preventive measures

Prevention of pain in the joint of the big toe consists in eliminating traumatic situations, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Doctors recommend wearing shoes with a small heel, regularly doing physical therapy and gymnastics, and undergo a physical examination every 6-12 months.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles