Gout and broken bones can cause people to have big toes that are swollen and painful, states MedlinePlus. Sprained ligaments and infected ingrown toenails also cause swelling and pain in big toes, according to WebMD.
Gout is a condition in which the body contains an excessive amount of uric acid, which then forms into crystals around the joint of the big toe and leads to pain and swelling, states MedlinePlus. A person suffering from gout may also experience redness and tenderness in the big toe. Broken bones in big toes cause bruising and stiffness in addition to swelling and pain. People should see their doctors if the pain and swelling from a broken toe increases suddenly, or if they experience a fever or chills.
People suffering from sprained big toe ligaments, commonly known as turf toe, may experience limited joint movement in addition to pain and swelling, according to WebMD. The pain and swelling of the big toe may begin immediately following a severe impact of the toe, or symptoms may develop over the course of time due to repetitive impacts between the toe and the ground. Ingrown toenails cause pain when the nail grows into, rather than over, the skin. Swelling occurs if the site becomes infected, and people with infected ingrown big toenails may also experience redness and pus drainage.