Treat arthritis in the big toe by using self-help measures such as over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications, recommends Healthline. Applying ice packs to the toe can also provide temporary relief, as well as choosing the proper footwear. Avoid high heels, tight shoes and shoes with a pointed toe. Doctors may perform X-rays to determine the underlying cause and treatment options for more serious conditions.
Doctors may recommend custom-made shoes with stiff soles and a rocker bottom to help alleviate symptoms, explains Healthline. Physicians may also recommend physical therapy in the form of stretches and exercises for your feet. Some patients require a splint or brace to stabilize the foot during treatments, or need a walking cane. More severe cases may require steroid injections directly into the joint if other treatment options do not prove effective. The most severe cases require surgery to remove damaged cartilage and to fix the joint into a permanent position with pins; other surgery options include joint replacement surgery.
Exercises that improve mobility and flexibility include those that stretch your Achilles tendon, the cord at the back of your heel, according to Beth Orenstein for Everyday Health. Wiggling your toes during commercial breaks while watching television is one way to incorporate foot exercises. Foot massages that knead the balls of your feet and toes can also aid in pain relief.