Why Does My Toe Hurt?

Most of the time we don’t think much about our toes. They are, however, quite necessary for providing the balance and assistance needed to support the weight of your body and for common activities like walking and running. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we find patients pay attention to their toes when they hurt and stop functioning as they should. Below are some common reasons for toe discomfort:

Hammertoes—with this condition, which can be caused by a genetic muscle problem, faulty foot mechanics or an abnormal bone length, one or more toes curls downward causing the namesake “hammer” appearance. In the early stages, the toes remain flexible but if left untreated they will become rigid, unable to be straightened. Corns, calluses and more severe disability can occur. There are a number of conservative and surgical treatment options available depending on the severity and progression of hammertoes.

Toe Spurs—this is a bone spur that occurs in your toe. It may form as part of another foot problem and can cause quite a bit of pain when walking. Usually a minimal incision surgery is needed to eliminate the spur.

Curled Fifth Toe—usually an inherited condition, the pinky toe curls downward and moves under the next toe. This results in your bearing weight on the side of your toe instead of the bottom—ouch! In addition, curled fifth toes cause nail problems and corns. This problem can be surgically corrected.

Turf Toe—this is actually a sprain of the joint at the base of the big toe. It is usually caused by a sudden pushing off injury or a “jamming” of the toe, such as when a player’s foot gets stopped on artificial turf but the rest of the body continues moving forward. Turf toe can also be caused or exacerbated by repetitive pushing off actions common to sports such as football.

As you can see, the causes of toe trouble are varied and the treatment will depend on the diagnosis. For this reason it’s essential that you let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, examine your toes and find out the cause of your pain. To get relief from your toe pain contact our Long Beach office sooner rather than later for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.