Do you ever have pain in your big toe joint? Especially when active, like walking or running, or playing sports like pickleball, squash, tennis, soccer?

For many of us, our big toe isn’t straight anymore and sometimes has a thicker joint or bone which stick outs. This is called a Bunion or Hallux Valgus; if your big toe is also rotated, it is called Hallux Abductovalgus.

Our big toe is big for a reason; it bears a lot of weight and has an important job of helping to propel us forward. It works in conjunction with the Plantar Fascia to do this very important job. But what if your big toe isn’t in the best position, or what if the big toe joint (called the First Metatarsophalangeal joint or 1st MTPJ) isn’t moving the way it should because of a previous injury to the joint, like Turf Toe, or because of Osteoarthritis.

And then to add insult to injury, your shoes might be adding more pressure to this area.

I am here to help.

In the photo can you see that the big toe is angled?

I have placed a Medilogics Toe Separator or Spacer in between the 1st and 2nd toes. This helps put the great toe in a better position to reduce stress here. This spacer can be worn with socks and shoes to help the muscles and soft tissues function better, which can help reduce your pain in this area.

In this photo, can you see how the big toe on the right bends way more than the one on the left? This is called Hallux Limitus, a mild form of Osteoarthritis in the 1st MTP joint. When the joint is very restricted and not bending at all, it is called Hallux Rigidus.

If your foot and ankle alignment is off, it can add more stress to the inner border of the big toe contributing to OA at this joint. A custom foot orthotic which helps to control the foot position can help offload the joint and reduce your pain symptoms. The medial side of the hallux, or the inner border of the great toe, is susceptible to a callus here and once again, an orthotic can help to reduce forces here contributing to the skin thickening and developing into a callus. Some people also end up with an ingrown toenail when the hallux, or great toe, has rotated and there is pressure at the nail bed. Consulting with a Chiropodist, like Dr. Alan Normand in New Hamburg or Dr. Craig Hunt in Stratford can help with shaping or thinning the nails and reducing callouses in this area.