What causes toe pain?

Bunions

Bunions are painful bony bumps that typically develop on the big toe joint. These bumps may be caused by tight shoes, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, or genetic conditions that affect the shape of the foot. Bunions may cause discomfort and make it more difficult to walk. Bunions are usually treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails are a common condition where the side of a toenail grows into the flesh of the toe. Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe in particular and may cause redness, swelling, and pain. Ingrown toenails are usually treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Morton Neuroma

Morton neuroma is a nerve injury, usually affecting nerves between the third and fourth toes, that leads to thickening of the skin and sharp pain in the ball of the foot or toes. Morton neuroma is usually treated by a podiatrist. Find a podiatrist near you here.

Foot Fracture

Foot fractures can be caused by various injuries to the foot such as falls, dropping a heavy object on the foot, or car crashes. Foot fractures can be very painful, and proper care depends on the severity of the fracture. Less serious cases can usually be treated by a primary care doctor, while more serious cases are usually treated by a podiatric surgeon. Find a podiatric surgeon near you here.

Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes joint inflammation due to a buildup of uric acid in the blood. Gout can affect the big toe, leading to swelling and potentially severe pain. Gout is usually treated by a rheumatologist. Find a rheumatologist near you here.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that can affect people with breaks in the skin such as cuts, bites, or peeling skin between toes. Cellulitis can cause toe pain, inflammation, and joint stiffness. Cellulitis is usually treated by a dermatologist. Find a dermatologist near you here.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

In tarsal tunnel syndrome, there is damage to the nerve in the ankle that controls foot movement and feeling. Nerve damage can lead to toe or foot pain, weakness of foot muscles, and difficulty walking. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is usually treated by a podiatrist. Find a podiatrist near you here.

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment Syndrome involves increased pressure in a group of muscles, leading to possibly permanent muscle and nerve damage. Increased pressure can be caused by physical trauma such as a broken bone or severe sprain. Besides initial emergency treatment, long-lasting effects of compartment syndrome affecting the toe are usually treated by a podiatrist. Find a podiatrist near you here.

Raynaud Phenomenon

Raynaud Phenomenon is a condition where cold temperatures can cause significantly decreased bloodflow to fingers or toes. Changes in blood flow may cause swelling or pain in toes, and possibly sores or gangrene in more extreme cases. Raynaud’s syndrome is usually diagnosed by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that can cause swelling, redness, and inflammation. When osteomyelitis affects the foot, it can lead to toe pain or tenderness. Osteomyelitis is usually diagnosed and treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Understanding the Results

These results are based on the most likely conditions for a 45 year old woman who is not pregnant, and is living in the United States. Our data shows that 96% of the time, this symptom is related to one of the 10 most likely causes. Location and age can also contribute to different results. Use our Symptom Checker to add your information and get your custom results.

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Differences in Age Groups

Although foot pain can happen at any age, it tends to be more common with elderly individuals. Older adults are more likely to experience falls or physical damage to the toes, compared to other age groups. They are also more likely to experience various forms of arthritis and worn down cartilage, which can lead to pain from bone rubbing against bone.

Differences among men and women

Women are more likely than men to experience toe pain. Women have more flexible ankle joints and ligaments than men, which can lead to more heel and toe pain. Women in the United States also tend to wear tighter shoes or high heels, which is also more likely to cause foot pain.

Last Updated: March 14, 2022

Published By: Medifind Medical Staff