Big Toe pain: Hi everyone i'm new here... - Arthritis Action

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Big Toe pain

Dazbazbez profile image

Hi everyone i'm new here usually on the lung group as my hubby has severe empysema but for years i have had pain in my big toe and now its got to the point that some days i cant put my shoe on and if i walk and bend my toe the pain is unbearable i have never gone to doctors i think when your a carer you tend to neglect yourself but i had a telephone appointment and he has offered me a injection in my toe but he said it might not work or i can have surgery to remove the bone has anyone got any advice i need to be mobile to care for my hubby i am 68 , Thank You

11 Replies

Hello Dazbazbez. If your toes are like mine, the big toe will hardly bend at all. For the last twenty or more years - on the advice initially of a chiropodist- I’ve been taking Glucosamine with chondroitin. This makes a big difference. I also use inserts in my shoes. You can get this kind of insert from pharmacies. I also move the joint gently each morning, round and round and up and down.Have you seen a chiropodist or podiatrist about this? You may find a lot of help from them. About thirty or forty pounds for a first visit then cheaper after.

I would have said that surgery is an absolutely last resort, try other things first starting with the chiropodist

Dazbazbez profile image
Dazbazbez in reply to Happyrosie

Hi thanks i had insoles made for me by podiatrist he took a mould of my foot but it made my shoes to tight , its like the bones on joint click and cant bend toe i will try the glucosamine i have never heard of chondroitin i will definitly look into it .

Joanne1633 profile image
Joanne1633 in reply to Dazbazbez

Hi, I’m a carer too and totally sympathise with you … we don’t look after ourselves. I have exactly the same symptoms and saw the gp who sent me for an X-ray. I have stage 4 osteoarthritis in my toe and have been put on a waiting list for an injection. I’ve been given 20mcg amytryptiline which have done nothing for the pain. I cannot walk properly and have been waiting 10 months to see the rheumatologist … I have an appointment on the 30th June so I will feed back to you if I get any helpful info … sorry I couldn’t be more help but if anything I do understand your pain.

Dazbazbez profile image
Dazbazbez in reply to Joanne1633

Thanks i have opted for the injection so will see if it helps but as things the way they are we are all put on long waiting lists ,i will keep you informed.


Big toe pain!. I am 74 retired. my big toe pain started 15 years ago. First two times it was going to London for meetings, travelling by train, standing for a very long period, may be tight shoe!, both times the following day left big toe area read and pain full to walk, both time GP gave antibiotic to treat the problem.

Few years later had a long flight to Singapore, this is to help look after my brother. Red left big toe!!, went to the high street doctor, took blood to test for uric acid levels. It was elevated, had medication for gout.

The problem re surfaced again last year July, gout medication cleared the problem. Problem came back last month. Difficult to get GP appointment, filled in e-consult, message came back to call 111, called 111, the answer was you need to see a doctor with in 24 hours.

Any way got gout medication and I am OK.

May be you can ask for blood test for uric acid levels? Not many UK doctors relate big toe problem to gout! some food can increase uric acid levels, a lot of information available in Google.

Good luck. Take care.

Hi Sandy. Big toes painful, red, hot and sometimes itchy.You have gout. I have exactly the same trouble which also extends to the pads under my toes and swells so much I can't walk without excruciating pain. I expect there may be other possible diagnoses but please do have the blood test as gout can travel all over the body as it did to me a few years back when I was unable to move without screaming with pain. I could not even hold a toothbrush to brush my teeth, nor hold a cup, nor toilet nyself. I also have OA and believe me it is a doddle com pared to gout so please don't struggle any longer.I take Allupurinol every morning, avoid rich food and red meat and drink plenty of liquids so I don'tget dehydrated as this is a trigger. Plrase let us know how you get on and best wishes


Thank you for your response. Yes, I have gout, GP, gave me medication, it got better after 4 days. I am looking at taking medication to lower uric acid. As I am allergic to a lot of medication I am trying to eat pine apple, cherry and straw berries to help lower the uric acid. I have a home blood test device now, my plan is to test every three weeks.

My HbA1c has gone up as well as uric acid level but I have lost 3kg in weight!!!, no explanation.

Take care.

I made a comment yesterday and have a further thought. In my area we don’t contact our gp about musculoskeletal issues, we go direct to the local MSK people. The physios in other words. Have you tried that route?

I have had arthritis in my big toe joints for years and put up with it until the pain from bending my toes was unbearable. My GP referred me for surgery, and in 2017 I had “cartiva” implants into the first joints of each big toe. It took six months to recover from the op, and now after 4 years, I’d say the operation was 75% successful, in that I can walk pretty much as much as I want without pain, but I can only wear flat shoes, as little movement in my toes, and have very little feeling in the sides of my big toes due to nerve damage with the operation. Maybe worth considering? And it was done under the NHS.

I had similar. I tried Acupuncture . By the third visit it was vastly improved. By the time I had finished the course it had gone. Worth a try.

I have had this for almost twenty years, but I do not suffer much. What I think have helped are looking into anti inflammatory foods and doing my best at following the advice. Wearing inlays, I use Superfeet. Keeping my feet warm, socks with high wool content apart from in summer. I also wear socks in bed. Making sure I bend the toe as much as I can when I walk, very painful to start with. Lately I have discovered videos on YouTube, Bob and Brad among others, which shows exercises and manipulations.

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