Secret Home Remedies for a Sore Big Toe
Anyone who has stubbed a big toe in the middle of the night knows how painful that big toe can be. Anyone who has tried to walk with a painful big toe knows how difficult a simple step can be. Any minor issues with a toe can be quite disabling because the toes are so important. Itchiness, numbness, burning, throbbing, and swelling; all of these problems can effect the first toe. However, no one really wants to go to the doctor for toe problems. And you may be able to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office with some home remedies. Let’s look at some home remedies for a sore big toe.
Problem #1: Throbbing, Swollen Toe
Any simple trauma like a bump in the night can cause a swollen, throbbing toe. With a little ice and rest, these minor sprains usually heal. If throbbing and swelling is not related to trauma, an ingrown toe nail might be a culprit. Home remedies for an ingrown, infected toe include: soaking the toe in Betadine Antiseptic Solution; applying topical antibiotics that are available over-the-counter; placing cotton under the toe nail to lift the nail away from the skin. These simple measures can help you avoid a trip to the doctor.
Other times a throbbing, swollen toe is not related to trauma or infection. In these cases, the big toe joint could have arthritis like gouty arthritis or osteoarthritis. Taking the pressure off the joint and redistributing the weight to other non-painful areas of the foot can help tremendously. Inserts like a metatarsal pad/bar can be just the right solution for relieving big toe pain. And do not forget the importance of avoiding certain foods if you suspect that you have gout. With better nutrition and better foot support, a big toe problem can be managed without a doctor. For more ideas check out tips for sore feet.
Problem #2: Painful, Deformed Toe
The most common big toe deformity is called a bunion. Bunions tend to run in the family and also tend to be associated with high-heeled shoes. The basic problem is the lack of joint stability; thus, adding some joint support can help bunion related pain. Many types of bunion support products exist. With a little trial and error, you might find the right one for you. Another problem with a bunion is the foot deformity itself does not fit into many types of shoes. Buying special shoes with larger toe boxes made especially for those with bunions can help relieve some foot pain and help you avoid seeing a doctor.
Problem # 3: Itchy, Burning, Numb and/or Painful
The strange or abnormal sensations of itchiness, burning and numbness are highly associated with nerve irritation and are commonly misdiagnosed. In the region of the big toe, these symptoms can be related to lumbar radiculopathy of the S1 nerve root or a peripheral neuropathy anywhere along the nerve’s route to the big toe. Is it possible to avoid a doctor if you have nerve problems? Yes. By improving the health of the nerves, some nerve problems can improve on their own. Try increasing your vitamin B complex consumption. Many health food stores sell Vitamin B Complex supplements that you can take with foods that contain Vitamin B like poultry, bananas, and avocados. Additionally, lowering blood sugar levels and the frequency of blood sugar spikes can also help improve nerve health. Sugar loads are reduced by eating foods that have a low glycemic index. This premise is the cornerstone for not only treating diabetic neuropathy, but it could also help many nerve problems affecting the big toe. Finally, when the nerves are unhappy, you should quit smoking because the blood supply to the nerves is being choked off. Unhappy nerves make unhappy feet and toes.
Big toe problems 1 through 3 represent just a few of the most common complaints. Many other home remedies for toe and foot problems exist and are effective when utilized properly. In the event that self care is not working, you may need to see a doctor for further investigation and treatment ideas. Take care of your big toes and they will keep you moving comfortably.
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.