If you have a sore big toe that is causing you a lot of pain, you aren’t alone.
This type of pain is common and may be caused by shoes that do not fit properly; exposure to cold temperatures; an injury due to dropping something on your toe, kicking something or stubbing your toe; an ingrown toenail; and cuts or scrapes. Bunions, arthritis, hammertoes, blisters, corns, calluses and infections are additional causes of toe pain. Diabetes can also cause tenderness in the feet and toes.
A painful big toe can make walking very difficult. Along with throbbing pain and inflammation, there can be numbness, swelling and a burning sensation. The problem can be in one or both big toes, depending on the cause.
Don’t let pain in your big toe affect your quality of life, as there are many simple and effective remedies that can help.
While relieving big toe pain can be possible at home, consult your doctor if you are suffering from a bunion, arthritis, hammertoes or some kind of infection.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to deal with a sore big toe.
Ice therapy is a good way to reduce pain and swelling in a big toe that is caused by some kind of injury or trauma.
The cold temperature helps reduce swelling and pain by temporarily numbing the nerve endings. Ice therapy provides quick relief.
- Put some crushed ice in a small plastic bag and wrap a thin towel around it.
- Apply it on the big toe for not more than 10 minutes at a time.
- Repeat a few times a day.
You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel.
Caution: Do not use ice directly on the skin, as it can damage the skin and nerves.
2. Hot Water Soak
Hot water treatment with table salt or Epsom salt is another simple yet effective home remedy to deal with a sore big toe.
While the heat helps decrease pain by increasing blood flow to the area, the salt will disinfect the area and take care of any kind of infection.
- Fill a small foot tub with hot water of bearable temperature.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt or regular table salt and mix it in thoroughly.
- Soak your feet in this water until it turns cold.
- Dry your feet with a clean towel.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
3. Rest and Elevate Your Toe
When suffering from a sore big toe, resting and elevating your foot can help a lot in relieving pain and swelling.
Rest is especially helpful if you have a sore toe due to an injury or overexertion. Try and stay off your foot for a few days, and soon you will notice improvement in the pain. Also, you must avoid any kind of strenuous exercise, and do not even go walking or jogging until your pain passes.
Also, elevate the foot with the sore toe while you’re resting. Elevation can help reduce soreness and swelling.
Massage also helps relieve pain and discomfort in the big toe. Rubbing the sore toe in a firm but gentle manner can do wonders.
Massage helps by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Apart from improving pain, it also aids in reducing stiffness and improving range of motion of the affected toe.
- Rub some warm oil like coconut, olive or mustard oil on the big toe. To make it more effective, you can a few drops of eucalyptus and arnica essential oils in it.
- Applying gentle pressure, massage the toe for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Massage the toe a few times a day.
Turmeric is an excellent remedy for any kind of pain. It contains an active ingredient called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In fact, turmeric can be beneficial in dealing with pain in the big toe due to gout.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with a little olive oil. Apply the paste on the affected toe and cover the area with a bandage. Repeat twice daily.
- Also, stir 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder into a warm glass of milk and drink it. Do this twice daily.
- Another option is to take 250 to 500 mg turmeric capsules 3 times daily until you are satisfied with the results. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you have a sore big toe due to some kind of infection or an ingrown toenail, try using apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that will help relieve the symptoms. Plus, its mild acidic nature helps fight and prevent infections.
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water in a foot tub.
- Soak your foot in this solution for 30 minutes.
- When done, dry your foot thoroughly.
- Do it twice daily for a few days to notice improvement very quickly.
7. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a rich source of capsaicin, which is known to have natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties.
So, whether you have a sore toe due to some injury or a disease like gout, cayenne pepper is very effective in reducing pain and inflammation.
- Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to 1 tablespoon of lukewarm coconut oil. Mix thoroughly, then apply it on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then rinse it off. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, you can apply a capsaicin cream on the affected area daily.
Cayenne pepper may initially cause a burning sensation, but it will go away quickly.
8. Proper Footwear
Last but not least, you must check your footwear. Poorly fitting shoes are a common reason behind swollen and sore big toes. Always wear comfortable footwear that fits your feet.
Avoid high heels and shoes that are too small or too tight, which can cause soreness in your feet and toes. If you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing, opt for comfortable flat shoes instead of high heels or tight dress shoes.
If you are prone to foot or toe problems, consider buying shoe inserts that are flat and made with a gel-like material. When inserted inside your shoes, they help ward off discomfort that can lead to soreness down the road.
- Avoid putting pressure on the injured toe and choose your shoes accordingly.
- Abstain from unnecessary physical strain.
- Be careful when trimming your toenails. As ingrown toenails can cause toe soreness, you need to trim your toenails properly and on a regular basis.
- Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen can help ease toe pain.
- Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent extra stress on the feet and toes.
- People with Type 2 diabetes are at high risk of developing gout as well, so try to keep your blood sugar level under control.
- Take care of any injuries on the toes to reduce the risk of infection.