Toe Pain
causes and cures

I am sure we have all experienced toe pain at sometime or other, and had that unfortunate experience of trying to relieve it without the know how.

Podiatrist relieving toe pain However there are more than a few causes of toe pain and within these pages we will try and identify the type of pain you may be experiencing.

With that we can then identify the cause and, of course, a treatment to at last, relieve that throbbing or painful toe.

As a reminder we must indicate that these treatments are not to replace the advice or counsel of your Doctor or Chiropodist who are far better equipped to deal with the problem first hand.

If the injury to the toe is by trauma,(striking an object with the toe) it must first be ascertained if there are any

Generally, if the bone in the toe is broken it will swell up more or less straight away. (within 10 Mins of the trauma).

It will also become too painful to walk on.

If this is the case, obviously, you must seek professional medical help as soon as possible where correct diagnosis, an xray and treatment will be available.

Keep the foot elevated and off the floor and do not put any pressure on the foot at all until a doctor has seen it.

If it is a straightforward break ie. (uncomplicated) the bones can take around 6 weeks or more to knit together and heal.

Please click on a link below to drop down to the corresponding section of the page.

Painful Toe through Trauma

Ingrown Toenail pain

Toenail Fungus pain

Pain from a Corn or Callus

Pain from Verruca

Pain from a Bunion

Pain through Diabetes

Pain through Rhumatism

Toe Pain from Gout

Pain from a Hammer Toe

Toe pain through Trauma

There can be little that is more painful than stubbing your toe on something hard or immovable, however this happens all the time, the pain is immediate and it feels like a throbbing hell.

Although there are varying degrees of this type of accident the way to reduce or remove the pain is by applying ice to the affected area or by immersing it in iced water.

This will also help in reducing any swelling. Later, if the toenail bed has been damaged you may well experience a

black toenail Keep the foot elevated and if it is still painful then relief can be gained by pain killing tablets ie Paracetamol or similar.(as directed by tablet manufacturer).

There is little else to do in this case unless there is hidden damage to the toe, please read 'broken bone in toe'

Pain from an ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail can, if left untreated, cause severe toe pain.

It is on an escalating scale as the nail can grow and dig more and more into the skin of the toe.

The pain increasing as the nail grows.

The best advice for this will be from your Chiropodist or Podiatrist.

Otherwise pleas visit Ingrown Toenail Treatment Where there is detailed steps on relieving the pressure from the ingrowing nail.

It can be done from home with the simple tools described in that linked page.

A shortened version of that page would be: Soak the foot in a mixture of warm water with a teaspoon of Epsom salts and a drop or two of tea tree oil (anti fungal/anti septic oil).

For 5 to 10 Mins only.

This will soften the toenail sufficiently to ease the pressure on the skin under the nail.

Then using a nail lifter or scraping tool gently scrape away, from under the painful area of the toe, the dead skin cells.

There should be enough to completely remove any pressure from the nail and therefore relieve the pain.

If there is still toe pain then the ingrown part of the nail may need to be cut away.

The best advice now would be to get first hand professional advice from a trained and qualified Podiatrist.

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Toenail fungus pain

Once toenail fungus takes hold on the toenail it should be correctly diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

The fungus lies and breeds within the folds of the nail causing the nail to become thicker.

The thicker nail can then produce pressure on the nail bed and pain in the toe.

The toenail also becomes discolored, taking on an unhealthy yellow color and giving off a distinct rotten smell.

The fungus breeds and the condition gets worse if left untreated.

As the condition becomes worse the toenail can 'crack' or 'split' this can then cause pain as the cracked nail irritates the nail bed.

If the condition has reached this stage it is advisable to see a professional Chiropodist who can see the condition first hand and advise/treat the infection without further delay and avoid any unnecessary toe pain.

If this is not possible there is helpful advice on the condition and the treatment at the toenail fungus page Jump back to the top of the page

Foot Pain from a Corn or Callus

There are various types of corns which appear on the foot for various reasons.

There are;

Soft Corns which appear when there has been skin rubbing on skin. Between the toes for example.

The appearence is soft and masserated and the pain would be similar to being pricked constantly with needles.

This happens when the corn is under pressure, ie walking.

The pressure and the toe pain can be relieved by separating the affected areas.

A Chiropodist would be able remove the corn over a period of time, and also use a spacer between the toes to keep the soft corn rubbing together.

Hard Corn Of which there are several types. These are probably the most common and can cause great discomfort or pain.

The corn is caused by pressure. That means pressure between the shoe and the skin of the foot or toe.

Again, a Chiropodist would be able to remove the corn it is up to you to ensure the corn does not re appear by wearing shoes that do not create these pressure points.

To relieve the foot pain or to ease that painful toe the pressure between the corn and the shoe must be relieved.

This can be done by corn relief pads, in the shape of a 'horse shoe' and not a 'donut'.

The reason for this is the horse shoe shape allows an exit for any pressure whilst protecting the crown of the corn.

Seed Corn These corns actually resemble some seeds that have lodged under the skin of the foot.

They appear in groups rather than singly.

These are generally irritating rather than painful.

As other corns, they are best removed and it is always best to seek professional help in the form of a Podiatrist or Chiropodist.

As they are usually more irritating than painful.

Relief from any foot pain can be sought by using padded insoles for shoes.

Sub Ungal Corn This is a seriously painful condition, akin to torture.

It is where a Corn forms and grows upwards underneath the toenail.

The incresing pressure as the corn grows is capped by the nail and in this case the toenail is the restricting material.

Relief from this toe pain can be done by a professional and must not be attempted from home.

A Chiropodist will relieve the pressure by either lifting the nail a little or by making the toenail thin enough so that it will bend by itself under pressure.

Or by a medical opperation where that part of the toenail is removed.

Usually by using a special drill.

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Foot pain from a Verruca

A Verruca often affects children more than adults, and often the trouble of an Athlete who is using wet rooms more frequently than most.

The pain from having a verruca is similar to that of having small sharp stones inside the shoe. It can be quite painful.

The way of removing this foot pain is to remove the verruca.

There are some natural cures that can relieve this pain by killing the viral infection (the verruca) some are more potent than others and all must be used with care.

Tea tree oil from the Aboriginal Tea tree is renown for its healing qualities in these cases.

If in doubt ask at the Pharmacy or visit a Chiropodist who may be able to remove it painlessly by freezing Jump back to the top of the page

Pain from a Bunion

A Bunion is where the big toe is forced over towards the other toes and a growth appears on the bone of the big toe.

Bunions are caused by pressure and/or ill fitting shoes. A Bunion can cause severe constant pain.

Relief from this toe pain can be sought by removing the pressure.

Wearing shoes with sufficient room at the toes. Bathing the foot in a good relieving

foot soak

Or, in the long term, by having surgery to remove the Bunion.

A Chiropodist or Podiatrist is qualified to give professional first hand advice on these difficult and often dangerous toe conditions.

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Foot pain through diabetes

Good blood circulation is important in the foot and the toes, without which numbness in the toes can lead to open wounds on the toes or the foot.

It is important to treat each wound as it develops and to remove the cause of the wound.

Relief from this kind of painful toe or foot pain is to have the wounds treated by a diabetes trained Chiropodist or Podiatrist.

Who can also advise on blood circulation problems of the feet and toes.

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Toe pain through rhumatism

This is pain gained through rhumatism infected joints of the toe. It can be crippling and severe.

The pain can make it difficult for a person to walk. The toes can, in these cases, appear swollen.

Relief from this type of toe pain is usually gained through drugs prescribed through a doctor or an expert on Rhumatism.

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Toe pain from Gout

Gout is a condition where the foot pain experienced is a little similar to that of rhumatism.

It is an inflamation of the joints which causes the pain.

The pain can be severe and it can be debilitating. It is usually, though not always, caused by a build up of uric acid in the blood.

More often found in men who are aroung 40years of age, overweight, have a high blood pressure, eat too much rich foods like seafood, red meat, and drink too much alcohol especially red wines, port or sherry.

For this reason Gout has been known as the 'Rich man's' disease.

Medical help from your doctor should be sought in this case as it needs professional attention and may need prescription drugs to treat.

Relief from the pain can be gained by resting the painful toe or foot. Remove any footwear and apply ice (in a towel)to the painful joint.

For a more long term solution then you must look to changing your diet to a more healthy and balanced diet.

Refrain from drinking wines, fortified wines or alcohol and stick to drinking water.

Keep away from foods that contain purines as this can be the source of the gout.

Pain from a Hammer toe

This is where the toe is pushed into an inverted 'V' form.

The toe pain from a hammer toe can be from the downward pressure of the shoe onto the top toe.

As the top of the toe is constantly in friction with the shoe it is easy for a corn to form and this will also cause pain.

Please visit our section on hammer toe for more information.

Relief from pain can be from removing any friction from the toe ie, removing the shoe or wearing a shoe that does not touch the V of the toe.

There are toe braces available that will wrap around the hammer toe and gently pull it down into a normal position.

This also avoids any friction with the shoe and also minimizes the chances of a corn forming.

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Healthy Toenails
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Your toenails are healthy and in good condition when they are light pink in color.

Have a slight sheen to them.

Have a smooth surface free of lines or ridges or pitting.

Good healthy toenails, well groomed and pedicured are a pleasure to see and for the owner, a pleasure to show off.

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Our toenails, or finger nails, are a good indicator of our present health condition.

They store and show our health record over the past 9 months or so. (the full growth of the nail).

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Reading your Nails

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It is often the case that our overall health is determined by our eating habits.

Our consumption of the vital nutrients and vitamins that we need is displayed all about our bodies.

On our skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and nails.

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Yet our nails record these happenings wonderfully well and the information is stored on special files (called nails) at the end of our feet and fingers.

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If you can imagine the nail, from base to tip being a record of the last 9 months of your health.

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