There are plenty of potential reasons for someone to experience foot pain near their toes. The feet are complex structures. With many small bones, joints and tendons, pinpointing an exact cause for your pain can be a challenge. The interconnected nature of the feet means that an issue in one part of the foot can cause pain in a different place. This makes it important to approach foot pain near the toes from a holistic perspective. A physical therapist can provide a comprehensive evaluation, looking at your pain in relation to all the systems in your body. Understanding the root cause of your pain can be crucial to receiving effective treatment. When you receive an accurate diagnosis, you can take the first step to recovering through targeted solutions. While there are many different causes for foot pain near the toes, learning about some of the most likely reasons can be helpful when preparing for treatment.
Common causes of foot pain near the toes
- Bunions — Do you have stiff, swollen areas around your big toe? These might be bunions, bony bumps that develop at the joint where the big toe meets the rest of the foot. Left untreated, bunions can grow large enough to deform the big toe’s bones. This can cause stiffness, inflammation and chronic foot pain near the toes. As bunions press the big toe into the other toes, pain can spread farther into the foot. Bunions are an often preventable condition. Wearing shoes that fit properly and support the shape of your foot can help reduce the risk of bunions in the future. Physical therapy can also help with prevention and managing pain from current bunions.
- Morton’s neuroma — Morton’s neuroma happens when the tissue around a nerve leading to your toes gets too thick. As the tissue thickens, it can begin to compress your nerves, leading to tingling foot pain near your toes. Another common symptom is the feeling of a pebble in your shoe. You might feel like there is some small object stuck on the bottom of your foot. This can cause persistent discomfort that is sometimes accompanied by numbness. With physical therapy, you can work to restore tissue health in your foot. Specialized exercises can be a great way to build stability in your foot. Manual therapy, a hands-on approach used by physical therapists, is also popular for Morton’s neuroma. Case reports show that manual therapy can be effective for alleviating Morton’s neuroma pain.
- Rotated toe — A rotated toe, sometimes called a hammer toe, is a condition that tends to affect the middle toes. This condition can typically be visually identified by an abnormal bend in the affected toe’s middle joint. This bend can make the toe’s shape resemble a hammer, which is why it is often referred to as hammer toe. A rotated toe can worsen without proper treatment. Receiving effective care as soon as possible can be key to success. Your physical therapist can prescribe certain exercises that stretch the affected toes. These can work to alleviate foot pain near the toes and restore flexibility in the middle toes.
- Plantar fasciitis — The plantar fascia is a band of tissue along the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this band experiences painful inflammation. The plantar fascia covers much of the foot, which means plantar fasciitis can cause pain in many different regions. While pain from this condition is often most intense around the heel, it can affect the toes as well. Stretching and proper arch support can be essential when treating plantar fasciitis. Working with your physical therapist, you can develop a personalized stretching plan designed to reduce your pain and inflammation. Your physical therapist may also recommend assistive orthotics or other special footwear.
- Toe fractures — Feeling foot pain near the toes after an injury? You might have fractured a toe bone. Though toe fractures can be caused by overuse, they are more often the result of a sudden trauma. These injuries can cause sharp, acute pain immediately after the injury and persistent low-level pain. After a toe fracture, immobilization and rest are important treatments. A physical therapist can help with your rehabilitative efforts as you work toward recovery.
Lattimore Physical Therapy can help you find relief from foot pain near your toes
If you are ready to discover the source of your pain and address it, Lattimore Physical Therapy is here to help. Our licensed physical therapists are committed to helping each patient receive the specialized care they need. We bring a positive attitude to each session as we work with you to treat your underlying condition. With a range of treatment options available, we can apply our tools and techniques to help you find lasting relief.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.