Remedies for Treating Arthritic Big Toe

Arthritis is a common disease affecting many individuals here in the NYC area. As a result, many Best Foot Doctor patients come to us with pain in their big toes, wondering how they can fix it. If you are suffering from big toe pain and are not sure of the cause, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible. Best Foot Doctor has offices in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, where we would be happy to see you.

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis or think you may have it in your feet, the good news is that you have options for pain management. Arthritis is not a reversible disease and will continue to progress. This progression varies in each individual. The sooner you see a doctor for treatment, the better chance you will be pain-free and regain your mobility. Arthritis can be very debilitating, forcing some who suffer from it to forego running and active lifestyles that they enjoy.

Home Remedies for Arthritic Big Toe

If your arthritic big toe is in the early stages, your podiatrist may prescribe you one or more of the following five options.

  • Ice packs can reduce inflammation and pain in the big toe. However, ice should not be used for more than 20 minutes at one time to prevent injuries on the big toe from too much cold exposure.
  • Because arthritis is most painful when joints move, wearing shoes with stiff soles and a roomy toe box may help reduce the pain you feel.
  • To care for your arthritic big toe and reduce strain on it, you should avoid wearing high heels.
  • A contrast bath may be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation. This type of bath involves placing the affected foot in cold water for 20-30 seconds and then in warm for 20-30 seconds, repeated for up to 5 minutes. Avoid water that is too hot or freezing, but you can repeat this process up to three times per day.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs may help treat symptoms and reduce the inflammation in your big toe.

Medical Treatment Options

If at-home remedies are not improving your situation, your podiatrist may advise you to consider steroid injections. Steroids, like cortisone, will make your toe swollen and tender for a few days. But the pain-lessening effects can be permanent for some individuals. 

If all else has proven inadequate for managing arthritis in your big toe, you may need surgery. There are three types of surgery that may be prescribed to treat your conditions.

  • A cheilectomy surgery removes bone spurs in your foot that causes pain. This is generally prescribed for mild to moderate forms of the arthritic big toe.
  • A fusion surgery renders your toe immobile but drastically reduces pain in severe cases. However, this surgery may not be the right choice for younger people who suffer from arthritic big toe, as it will limit an individual’s ability to be active.
  • An arthroplasty surgery removes the arthritic joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. This surgery is generally only recommended for older individuals who require less mobility.

If you are concerned about arthritis in your big toe, we encourage you to reach out to your foot doctor. If you are located in the New York City area and are looking for a podiatrist, give Best Foot Doctor a call. We’d be happy to help however we can.

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