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Big Toe Joint Pain May Be Due To Hallux Rigidus

Big Toe Joint Pain
Big Toe Joint Pain

Do you have a painful and stiff big toe? If yes, it can overwhelm you emotionally. The toe is small, but it has a big role to play in your life. Imagine how tough walking, running, squatting, bending over, keeping balance or getting up on the feet balls without the support of the toes would be.

The metatarsophalangeal joint connects the ‘metatarsal’ bone in the front feet to the ‘phalanx’ bone, and it is a vital part of the toe’s function. Each step you take, the metatarsophalangeal joint will bend, which will allow your foot to move ahead and thereby, push off from the ground. In this walking cycle stage, the joint will support half of the body weight. When the joint fails to function properly, it can be tricky and often not possible to walk and do physical activities.

Hallux rigidus is among the common disorders in the joint of the big toe. The disorder leads to both big toe joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis in the big toe collapses the cartilage, which covers the edges of the human bones comprising the toe joint. The joint space becomes less wide, and osteophytes or bone spurs may develop.

How Hallux Rigidus Develops

In the metatarsophalangeal joint, the bone ends are covered by articular cartilage, which helps in the smooth movement of the joint. An acute injury happening due to standard wear, can make articular cartilage break down. This collapsing process is called osteoarthritis. The consequential situation of the ends rubbing against one another, results in inflammation and pain. Bone spurs may form as an element involved in degeneration, and the joint area may narrow, lessening the structure’s movement. This can affect how you walk, plus it helps to bring about pain in your foot’s ball and the back.

Why does hallux rigidus form in some individuals? The reason for that is not fully clear. Flawed foot mechanics and congenital or hereditary foot defects can put chronic pressure on the toe joint, causing arthritis. There are some athletic injuries too that have been implicated. ‘Turf toe’, for instance, is a hurt to the metatarsophalangeal joint because of the forced hyperextension, or the toe’s upward bending back. A toe break or stub can also contribute to the joint’s degeneration, and so can a chronic inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis.