Common Foot Conditions

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Turf Toe

Turf toe occurs when one of the two joints in the big toe is sprained. While the foot is fixed flat and the heel is elevated, a force bends the big toe beyond its normal range of motion, causing the sprain.

Though the term originated from sprains that were common among football players who played on synthetic turf, anyone can experience turf toe from a range of activities.1

Once the toe has been bent, you should heed the RICE rule for first aid:

Rest

Ice (cooling)

Compression

Elevate

1OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2019.

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Arthritis in the Big Toe

bunion pain

Commonly referred to as a ‘stiff big toe’,’ this condition is a form of arthritis. It causes pain and stiffness in the big toe, where it joins the rest of your foot. This condition is the most common issue in the big toe and it can become worse over time, leaving you in more pain and with less mobility.1

Those from the ages of 30 to 60 are most likely to be affected by big toe arthritis, but anyone from teenagers to the oldest adults can experience it.

Big toe arthritis can be caused by:

  • Using the joint too much, common among people who squat, overuse the joint at work and athletes.
  • Problems with the joint stemming from turf toe
  • Inheriting the condition from a family member
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Venous Leg Ulcer
  • Venous Insufficiency
  • Diabetic Conditions

Wearing shoes that give your feet proper room provides relief to those dealing with this condition. Insoles can also be worn to prevent movement of your big toe and avoiding unnecessary strain.

1Cleveland Clinic, 2020.

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Bunions

A bunion is a bump on the side of the big toe that forms over time as the joint becomes misaligned. Bunions begin as a small deformity but get worse progressively. As pressure is placed on the joint, the big toe moves toward the second toe, causing a slow change in the formation of the bone, leaving the noticeable bump. Developing a bunion can make it painful to wear certain shoes or even to walk.

This condition is often caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or do not fit properly and can be relieved with wider shoes that leave room for the foot’s new shape. It can also develop due to genetics or another condition like rheumatoid arthritis. You may experience pain, inflammation, rough skin or callouses and/or limited mobility in your big toe/difficulty walking.1

Orthotics can be used to remove the pressure from a bunion and realign your toe in a straighter position.

1OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2016.

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Morton's Neuroma

While plantar fasciitis runs the length of your foot, Morton’s neuroma affects the ball of the foot. The nerves around your toes can become affected when tissue begins to thicken, causing pain or a burning sensation in your foot, usually around the third and fourth toes.1

If you encounter Morton’s neuroma, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • The feeling of a pebble in your shoe
  • Burning in the ball of your foot into your toes
  • Tingling in the toes
  • Morton’s neuroma can be brought on by a variety of factors, including:
  • Wearing high-heeled or tight shoes
  • Sports that require you to wear tight shoes, like rock climbing
  • Deformities, like flat feet or high arches

To relieve pressure and pain, consider wearing flat shoes. Foot supports can also help in the early stages by realigning the foot and rearranging the weight placed on it.

1Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2019.

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