Throbbing Pain in Big Toe Joint- Causes and Treatments

Do you suffer from the painful and throbbing big toe joint pain? Well then, you are at the right address. The human body consists of many areas that would be considered and defined to be a joint. By definition, a joint in the human body is an area where two bones come close to each other in proximity. In addition, the bones that come together to form the joint are held together by ligaments and the muscles are held to the bone by tendons.

In addition, within the joints, there is a buffer layer called cartilage that prevents the bones from rubbing together. Examples of jointed areas could include the elbow, shoulder, knee, and hips. Additionally, if an individual is experiencing pain in their joints, due to a number of reasons, they certainly feel this pain due to the fact that the body is designed to be mobile and this is allowed by the various joints.

Another jointed area, in the foot, is the big toe. If a painful medical condition arises in this particular, joint it can be significantly excruciating.

Therefore, a discussion about big toe joint pain would be in order to find out what in particular can cause pain in this joint and what are some treatment options.


What Causes Throbbing Big Toe Joint Pain

A number of medical conditions can cause a throbbing pain in the joint area of the big toe or hallux.


The most common throbbing pain in the big toe joint is the condition of arthritis. An arthritic condition is because there is damage to the cartilage that is between the bones that comprise the joint. This particular joint is called metatarsophalangeal. The damage to the cartilage, in any joint, is generally due to excessive wear, lack of the proper dietary nutrients, trauma or injury. This damage to the cartilage eventually leads to the point where the bones are rubbing against each other which causes the arthritic condition and the pain.


In addition to the possibility of an arthritic condition, any damage to this joint can result in the formation of a bone spur. A bone spur is simply the formation of a small bit of bone on to another bone of the body. Additionally, there may be the formation of scar tissue due to an injury which may restrict the joint from operating normally. If a bone spur develops in the big toe joint of an individual this also can be very painful.

This may further develop into a condition known as hallux rigidus. This is a perfect description of a joint that has become rigid and has lost its flexibility.

Throbbing Big Toe Joint Pain Treatments

The first part of any treatment process is to be properly diagnosed.  Therefore, with the experiencing any big toe joint pain it is important to see a doctor and then possibly being referred to a podiatrist. As part of the medical exam, the podiatrist will probably order a radiograph or x-ray to determine what the problem or condition is. Following the x-ray of the toe area, a diagnosis will in all eventualities be able to be made.

Because the joint is inflamed, due to the rubbing together of the bones because of the loss of cartilage, an anti-inflammatory medication will probably be prescribed. In addition, temporary relief may be attained through the use of cold compresses and topical medications. However, it is important to note that these are just temporary measures to alleviate the symptoms, but will not alleviate the problem causing the pain.

Also, it is important that proper footwear is utilized. Therefore, it is important not to wear tight-fitting shoes, but shoes that are loose and fit comfortably. In addition, to help relieve the pressure off of the big toe joint, orthopedic shoes may be indicated as well as utilizing arch supports. Through these two practical methods, the pressure being experienced by the big toe joint may be relieved somewhat.

Natural Joint Pain Relief Solutions

There are many options available for the individual in regards to treatment. One of those options is to be seen by a medical professional. Treatment may be through medication to reduce inflammation and pain or the possibility of surgery to repair the cartilage or joint replacement.

Another method of treatment is through the use of natural homeopathic medicines. Some of those herbal remedies could include the use of turmeric, Valerian root, ginger, and eucommia.

Turmeric is a spice that is utilized to give Curry its characteristic flavor. However, there are many added benefits related to pain relief through the use this herb. Specifically, turmeric has been shown to be an effective natural remedy in the treatment of inflammation as well as improving the health of the circulatory system. In addition, it has properties that help to alleviate the pain associated with bruises, strains, sprains, and inflammation of the joints. The specific action of this herb is gained from an ingredient called curcumin which reduces inflammation in the body by decreasing the production of two enzymes in the body. It can be ingested in one’s diet by simply adding to food when it is being prepared.

Ginger has a proven track record of reducing inflammation in the body as proven by the Chinese culture. Other added treatment benefits of ginger include its ability to relieve the soreness of muscles, minimize headaches, help in arthritic conditions and address feelings of nausea. Ginger tea is a good method of utilizing this herb.

Valerian root is a natural tranquilizer for the body and helps to normalize the nervous system. Consequently, it helps in situations where an individual is under extreme stress or is anxious, or has trouble sleeping at night. Therefore, the effect that it has on joint pain is to minimize or moderately sedate the nervous system. Valerian tea would be very comforting.

Eucommia is also a Chinese natural joint pain relief remedy that helps individuals with pain experienced in the joints and back. It is also been shown to be an effective herbal medicine in strengthening bones, ligaments, and tendons. This herb has also been scientifically shown to aid in the healing process for tissue that has been damaged. Specifically, eucommia has had a dramatic effect on the production of collagen in the body. Often, this natural joint pain relief can be obtained in supplement form.

Other Treatment Methods

Other treatment methods that may be indicated include the possibility of having steroids injected into the joint area. This will help reduce the inflammation that is being experienced and the resulting pain.

Finally, as the last possibility, surgery may be indicated. Of course, this type of response would need to be discussed with one’s orthopedic surgeon.

A number of surgical procedures may be indicated. One such surgical procedure would be the surgical process of going into the big toe joint and “trim” the joint area and cleanse it from any substance that exacerbates the problem. This particular procedure is called a cheilectomy.

Also, as part of the surgical procedure, there may be the decision to re-shape the proximal end of the phalanx. This procedure would help to reduce the friction that is being created and causing the big toe joint pain.

Another option that is available surgically is to fuse together the bones that make up the joint. The benefits of this operation are that it will eradicate the big toe joint pain. However, the joint will never regain its flexibility.

Finally, one other option that is available with today’s cutting-edge surgical procedures is to replace the joint. This particular procedure has shown great promise. However, there are still challenges associated with this procedure in that even an artificial joint may wear out in time and cause further big toe joint pain.

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