Home Remedies for Toe Pain

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Although they are one of the smaller parts of the body, the toe is still susceptible to various injuries and medical conditions. From the misstep of a dance partner to a sporting accident, you may find yourself with swelling, pain, and complications that affect other body parts. To get you back onto the road to recovery, consider using home remedies for toe pain.

Causes and Symptoms

Having someone step on your big toe is enough to cause injury, but there are also many different medical conditions and common threats that can cause toe pain. Some of the most typical causes of toe pain include:

• Arthritis: Arthritis is a common threat, which causes an inflammatory response in the body. Gout is a type of arthritis that often attacks the big toe when crystal deposits form in the joints. The result is severe pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis (such as hallux rigidus or toe arthritis) strikes the base of the big toe, causing pain and stiff joints that gets worse over time.

• Bunion: The bony prominence that can develop along the edge of the foot (right next to the base of the big toe) is often a result of wearing poorly fitting footwear. Extreme cases require surgery.

• Hammer Toe: Creating a hammer-like appearance, wearing tight shoes can cause a toe to bend near the joint.

• Claw Toe: Striking the joint at the end of a toe, claw toe prevents you from straightening out your toes, which instead, point upward or downward. This condition can lead to other foot problems and irritation.

• Ingrown Toenails: Ignoring the misalignment for toenail growth can lead to skin on one or both sides growing over a nail. Pain, shoe discomfort, and infection may occur.

• Turf Toe: Some sporting activities can cause pain to develop at the base of the big toe. This type of overuse injury often takes place because of strain associated with running and jumping. For example, football players are notorious for suffering turf toe.

• Toe Sprain: When you jam or stub your toe, the tendon or soft tissues of the region can become damaged. The difference between a sprain and fracture is that sprains cause pain and swelling that fades within days.

• Corns and Calluses: Excess skin buildup can cause pain in the toes. Corns are comprised of thick, tough skin that develops when the foot or toe suffers too much irritation and pressure, such as wearing ill-fitting shoes. Calluses cover a wider area on the toes or feet.

• Fracture: Fractures can occur in the toe region, such as a sesamoid fracture, which affects the small bones embedded in the tendons that attach to the big toe. The main symptom is pain in and around the toe. In the worst cases, surgery becomes a last resort.

Toe Pain Home Remedies

Toe and toenail problems are very common and can affect people of all ages. When your symptoms come from wearing poor footwear (one of the most frequent causes of toe pain), the pain can get pretty intense – to the point that walking becomes difficult. To promote healthy healing of your feet, consider the following home remedies for toe pain:

a) Epsom Salts:

To gain relief from sore ingrown toenails, soak your foot in a tub of warm water with an added two tablespoons of Epsom salts. Soak for five to ten minutes – once or twice per day.

b) Lemon Juice:

Combine one tablespoon of lemon juice with five to six crushed aspirin tablets to create a healing paste for a callus. Apply the remedy directly to a callus. Follow up by wrapping the foot in a plastic bag for ten minutes. The acidity of the lemon will help soften the callus. To remove dead skin, gently rub with a pumice stone.

c) Sandals:

To decrease the pressure on a painful big toe joint, it is suggested to put away the slippers and use a sandal that delivers arch support when walking around your home. Open-toed sandals give painful toes room to breathe and heal.

d) Ice:

Apply ice to affected parts of the toe and foot to alleviate pain. For example, ice a bunion for 10 minutes every evening.

e) Shoe Stretch:

Stretching your shoes where your bunion is located can help ease discomfort.

f) Choose a Lower Heel:

High heels have a reputation for causing undue pressure on the toes. Women should limit the number of times they wear heels in a month and opt for a lower heel – about 1-inch high.

g) Pumice Stone:

When painful corns and calluses become too much to bear, reach for a pumice stone to wear down the extra skin.

h) Shoes That Fit:

When calluses and corns are the cause of your toe pain, take a good look at your footwear. Tight shoes cause unnecessary pressure and irritation to the toes.

i) Nail Cutting:

When trimming ingrown toenails, cut them straight across. If the corners appear too sharp, use a file to create a better shape. Just think, when you stand up, the weight of your entire body comes crashing down on your feet. This pressure pushes up the skin in front of the toenail. When nails are cut too short, they can dig into the skin as it regrows. This is why it is best to trim a nail so that it is flush with the front end of the toe.

j) Sock Choice:

The kind of socks you wear can reduce toe pain, including the discomfort associated with bunions. Socks can reduce friction and act as a cushion at the same time. If you are suffering from a bunion, avoid cotton socks because of the high-friction risk. Also, if you are battling an infected ingrown toenail, avoid colored socks. The dye can actually leak into a wound and worsen your symptoms.

k) Stretching:

There are some exercises for toes and toe joints that can ease the appearance and discomfort of hammer toe and claw toe.

l) Warm Water:

To treat ingrown toenails, soak in a bath of warm water at least four times per day. At some point, wedge a small piece of gauze between the nail and wet skin to encourage healing.

m) Lotion Wrap:

Rub in a moisturizing cream on your foot and toes. Wrap the foot in a plastic bag and leave on for a couple of hours. After removing the bag, gently rub your corn with a pumice stone using a sideways motion. This is a good remedy to do when you’ve got a few hours of TV time to spare.

n) Baking Soda:

Soak corns and calluses in a basin filled with warm water. Add three tablespoons of baking soda to the water. You may also massage calluses with a paste made from 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. This home remedy for toe pain will loosen dead skin and encourage healing.

o) Cornstarch:

When you sprinkle cornstarch between your toes, you can keep the region dry and protect the skin from breaking down. Moisture is known to worsen the symptoms of corns and calluses, as well as create an environment for fungus to thrive.

p) Vinegar:

Apply a vinegar-soaked cotton ball to a corn or callus to soften hardened skin. Put a piece of tape over the cotton to hold in place. Leave the remedy on overnight, and in the morning, gently rub with a pumice stone.

q) Petroleum Jelly:

To reduce the friction that causes corns and calluses, slather on a coat of petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) on your toes when getting ready to do a lot of walking or running.

r) Dietary Changes [1]:

To control the toe pain associated with gout, dietary restrictions can help. The object is to avoid foods that are high in purine. You should limit the amount of meat, poultry and fish that you eat. Increase the number of plant-based protein you eat, such as beans and legumes. Alcohol interferes with your ability to eliminate uric acid, so limiting your consumption is highly recommended. Drinking a lot of water can help flush out uric acid in the body. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Add whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your meals. Also, limit your sugar intake for better results.

Resources

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout-diet/MY01137

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