Hallux Limitus / Hallux Rigidus: How to Treat for Pain Relief

hallux rigidusHallux Rigidus and Hallux Limitus are the same foot disorder but at different stages of development.  The condition brings on limited motion to the big toe or a stiff toe.  When movement is restricted by a bone spur that restricts upper movement of the toe. When the joint is capable of motion, the condition is Hallux Limitus.  However, if left untreated, the condition advances to Hallux Rigidus or what’s known as “Rigid Toe”. This condition exists when the big toe is rigid.  That is, little to no motion is available. These conditions most commonly afflict people after the age of 30.

The offending joint (known as the metatarsophalangeal joint) is located at the base of the big toe. The disorder causes pain and possibly swelling, a callus or bunion to form.  The callus may form on top of the big toe because the inflamed toe is rubbing against the top of the shoe (which is why we recommend wearing a larger shoe or shoe with a large toe box area. Calluses  may form on other toes if you start to shift their weight to the outside of the foot just to make it easier to walk hallux limitus and rigiduswith an inflamed big toe.

Treatment and prevention includes ice packs to decrease swelling and inflammation, mild medication such as ibuprofen, limiting activities that include bending the big toe, and Orthotic Arch Support Insoles to correct over-pronation.  Wearing shoes that fit properly and allow room, especially in the toe box will help relief stress.

Several brands of quality Orthotic Arch Support Insoles are available at a reasonable price.  It is best to find a style that includes cushioning with the arch support and a metatarsal pad to provide support for the region behind the toes. Stabilizing the foot will offer relief for sufferers and can serve to prevent the condition for those who are not yet effected by this painful, debilitating disorder. Our most popular orthotics are those that offer a reverse Morton’s extension such as the Spenco Polysorb Total Support Insoles, and the Spenco For Her Total Support Insoles all include cushioning, arch support and a metatarsal pad.  We do offer a Turf Toe Steel Insole that is flat with the sole purpose of providing rigidity (they are especially useful for those that would prefer to put these under their existing shoe insoles.  These insoles are all Accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association.