What Are Some Common Causes of Pain in Your Big Toe?

Common causes of pain in the big toe include gout, a bunion, a claw toe, an ingrown toenail and a turf toe, according to WebMD. Osteoarthritis of the big toe is another common cause of pain in the big toe, notes Healthline.

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down with age, leading to swelling and pain in the joints, explains Healthline. The condition often affects the base of the big toe, causing symptoms such as pain, achiness in the morning, tenderness and a burning sensation. People also experience a stiff toe if the big toe bone grows too much. Osteoarthritis is treated with pain medications, proper footwear and lifestyle changes.

Gout is another form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals build up around the joint cartilage, states Cleveland Clinic. The big toe is often affected in patients with gout, which leads to sudden joint pain, swollen joints and purple skin around affected joints. Risk factors that contribute to the development of gout include a diet rich in meat and fish, excess alcohol intake and poor kidney function. There is no cure for gout, but the condition can be controlled through therapy and medication.

Bunions are bumps on the feet close to the big toe that lead to burning pain, redness, numbness and difficulty walking, reports Cleveland Clinic. Doctors do not know the exact cause as to why bunions form, but several factors associated with their development include a faulty foot shape, genetics, poor footwear and inflammatory conditions. Bunions are treated with medications and lifestyle changes, as well as with surgery in some cases.