Tick Tack Toe
How many times have you played Tick Tack Toe in your life? It looks like tick tack toe can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. So when you are playing tick tack toe, you are following your ancestors in playing the simple game.
Speaking of toes….
OUCH!! My big toe hurts!
Have you ever had pain in your big toe? It is more disabling than you might think. Your big toe is really important to your ability to walk. You use your big toe to push off when you start moving (run, walk, jog, and skip) and so if you are having pain in that toe, you will feel it every time you move. For such a small part of your body, your big toe can have many things go wrong with it. This shows you how important it is!
If you are having pain in your big toe, these are some things you can think about as potential problems. Different issues cause different pain in the big toe. I thought I would share with you a list of some of the different problems. And what a list it is!
It sounds like something that Harry Potter might say when casting a spell. It isn’t. Your Hallux is your big toe. When you have Hallux Rigidus, your big toe is sore at the base which is not good because this joint has to bend every time you take a step. As you may guess from the pain every time you take a step, this is a problem that needs to be seen by your friendly local podiatrist. And it is important that you see the doctor faster rather than slower. If you wait too long, a bump will develop on the top of your foot. When you have the bump, you are getting closer to having to have surgery on your foot. It can be caused by trauma or by the degeneration of the cartilage in the joint.
Once again this is not Harry Potter. When you big toe is being used, it needs range of motion to be effective. If that motion is limited, the movement is painful. With Hallux Limitus, there are no degenerative changes in the structure of your toe. The problem is in the bone structure and over time that will affect the movement of the toe. Once again, the sooner you see the doctor the better.
Often times, doctors will opt for the diagnosis of hallux rigidus rather than break the problem down into hallux rigidus and hallux limitus. If you receive this diagnosis, you can ask the doctor if the problem is caused by your foot’s structure or by the degeneration of the cartilage. (I think if it is caused by trauma, that you know that it was caused by trauma…)
Gout will often times cause pain and swelling in your big toe. For more information on gout, please see our earlier post at http://www.epsfootdocs.com/2013/01/guess-disease-from-these-words-king-toe.html
A bunion can also cause pain in your big toe. A bunion is generally caused by trauma or the structure of your foot. For more information on bunions please see our earlier post at http://www.epsfootdocs.com/2012/08/foot-blogger-chick-on-bunions.html
How can you not love the name of this problem? It gives you an idea of how you get this pain. Yes, this problem is generally found in those who play sports on artificial turf or hard court surfaces. The pain comes from a tear of the ligament or a sprain. We have talked about turf toe in our series on basketball injuries. Please check at http://www.epsfootdocs.com/2012/11/basketball-toe-injuries.html
There are two bones in your foot that sit below the toe joint and they are called the sesamoid bones. When you have sesamoiditis, it means that these bones are inflamed. This inflammation is usually due to acute or chronic trauma. This is a problem that is often times found in ballerinas and basketball players. This pain is just below the big toe joint. A trip to the podiatrist will help in diagnosing the problem and solving it so you are back on your feet quickly.
Yes, a broken toe can and should be treated. Do not wait until weeks have past to see the doctor. Check out this post for more information. The Woe of a Broken Toe
Arthritis can affect the joint in your toe. Wow, like having it in other places isn’t bad enough, you can have it in your toe! The big toe joint, which as I said is very important in movement and balance, can become arthritic. Your friendly local podiatrist can work with you to help your painful toe.
Now you know that there are many choices for the source of your big toe pain. With all these choices, I would suggest that you get to the doctor as soon as possible. Your big toe is so important and so involved in movement that in order to get back to being comfortable, you should seek help.
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – While being called Tick Tack Toe in the U.S., what is the popular game called in Great Britain?
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons – on June 7. While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
The very nice doctors at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons have opened a new location! They are very excited to have an office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago. So, if live or work downtown, help is even closer! Stop in and say “Hello and Congrats”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL 60601