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How to Avoid Toe Pain | Foot Care

Learn how to avoid toe pain in this Howcast video about foot care.


Toe pain is one of the most common things I see in the office. Patients usually come in with a complaint of corns or callouses on their toes. Corns are typically due to friction, and they're usually a result of shoe irritation, with an underlying deformity. On our toes, we can get different types of contractures at different levels.

A mallet toe is a toe that is bent downwards at the joint farthest away from you. It can result in pain at the tip of the toe from shoe irritation, or at the top of the joint.

A hammer toe is similar and can result in a bend downward at the middle joint of the toe, as well as the joint at the tip of the toe. It's very painful and difficult to fit into shoe gear, so you must buy an extra depth shoe.

Callouses or inflammation of the joint are common, secondary to friction on the top of the shoe.

There is also a condition called claw toe. A claw toe is where all the joints are bent on a toe, and the toe takes on the resemblance of a claw of an animal. Again, finding shoe gear is extremely difficult.

Some conditions that affect the big toe include bunion deformities, inflammation of the actual joint itself.

Common nail injuries include ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, loose toenails, black and blue toenails from trauma.

The key to managing common toe problems is proper shoe gear. If you choose a shoe that has adequate width and depth in the toe box, you should be able to successfully manage your problem. If you continue to experience pain secondary to a toe deformity, see your podiatrist. There are many things that we can do to help you, including surgery to correct the deformity.

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