Toe Injuries & Toe Pain

Toe injuries include ingrown toenail, black toenail, fractured or broken toe, dislocated toe, hallux rigidus and hammer toe.

Black Toenail

A black toenail or Subungual Hematoma is a common problem resulting from direct trauma and impact to the toe or overuse.

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail or onychocryptis is a common and frustrating cause pain, often caused by improper footwear not allowing the nail to grow properly, or due to poor nail cutting.

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Rigidus is a stiff big toe with pain, swelling and inflammation in the joint. A common cause of big toe pain.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a condition which causes one or more of the smaller toes to become bent upwards. The toe can be straightened but if ignored may become a permanent deformity.

Broken Toe

Broken toes can be painful and usually occur as a result of severe impact or trauma to one of the phalanges bones which make up the toes although a stress fracture can occur gradually over time.

Dislocated Toe

Dislocated toes usually occur from a direct trauma to the toe causing a severe sprain to the toe ligament with phalanges bones in the toe being displaced.

When should I see a doctor?

When should you see a doctor with your foot pain? Often people do not want to bother their GP or A & E department but if you have any of the following symptoms you should seek further medical assistance.

  • Severe pain, especially on walking
  • Severe swelling (oedema)
  • Altered sensation in the foot – such as a feeling of “pins and needles” (paresthesia) or a “loss of feeling” (anaesthesia) in the foot.
  • Unable to complete normal daily activities after the initial 72 hours.

Further medical assistance can be sought through either your local GP or a private clinician such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath or chiropractor. If you have followed the P.R.I.C.E. principles (see below) and are still unable to walk after 72 hours or still have severe pain that is not subsiding after the first 72 hours you should visit your local A&E department for further assessment.

Secondly, if you have applied for P.R.I.C.E. principles and still have weakness that lasts a long time (more than 2 weeks) or have ongoing discomfort in your foot or heel, you are highly recommended to seek advice from a specialist expert - such as a podiatrist or physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor - who can provide you with advice and an appropriate and effective recovery and rehabilitation program.

Expert Interview on Toe Pain

Related categories foot & heel