Big Toe Pain

Have you been experiencing pain in the big toe? There are a variety of reasons that might be causing this problem. Pain in the big toe often results from injuries or underlying health conditions. We understand how painful and serious this can get, and that is why we are here for you. We are foot and ankle specialists who have been in the industry long enough to know your big toe needs.

Additionally, if your pain is at the base of your big toe near or at the joint, check out our big toe joint pain page for what might be causing that and what treatment options are available.

What Could Be Causing the Big Toe Pain?

As mentioned above, there are many reasons why you are experiencing pain in your big toe. Here are the most common ones that we see in our office:

Fracture of the Big Toe

Toe fractures, like regular bone fractures, are common in active people. It involves breakage of the toe bones and may result from kicking a hard object, dropping a heavy item on the big toe, or repeated pressure on the toe. 

Some of the most common symptoms you need to be aware of include pain and swelling on the big toe. However, you may also notice some discoloration on the toe.

Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a recipe for disaster, especially regarding foot discomfort. It often occurs when you cut your toenail too short or curve it too far when cutting it.

While it may go away when the nail begins to grow, wearing shoes that are too tight may cause the pain to soar even more.

The most common signs of an ingrown nail are:

  • A hard, swollen, tender toe
  • Reddened skin along the edge of the toenail.
  • Soreness
  • Even pus oozing from the area, which is a sign of infection, and needs immediate attention.

Toenail Fungus

Your big toe pain could also be a result of nail fungus. This is a common infection that begins as a white or yellow-brown spot just under the toenail. As the infection gets deeper and more extensive, the nail may become thicker, and crumble at the edge.

While it may begin at the big toe, you must be careful as it can also affect the other adjacent nails. If the nail fungus is mild, you may not feel so much pain. However, as time progresses without treatment, you will feel pain, especially around the thickened nails. Get in touch with us, and let us help you with the pain.

Besides pain and thickened nails, other signs may include smelly toenails, separation from the nail bed, and raggedness.

Trauma to the Big Toe


Trauma to the big toe can have a significant impact on an individual’s mobility and overall well-being. The big toe plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and stability while walking or engaging in various physical activities.

One common form of trauma is a stubbed toe, where the toe forcefully hits a hard surface. This can result in immediate pain, swelling, and bruising. In more severe cases, the trauma may cause a fracture or dislocation of the big toe. Such injuries can severely limit the range of motion, making it difficult to walk, run, or even wear shoes comfortably. The individual may experience difficulty in bearing weight on the affected foot and might need crutches or other forms of support during the healing process.

Not being able to engage in activities you once enjoyed because of the pain can lead to a decrease in overall physical activity. It is important for individuals who have experienced trauma to the big toe to seek appropriate medical attention. Our doctors can provide the treatment needed to get rid of pain and get you back into doing what you love.

Big toe pain from an injury

Black Toenail


Has your toe suddenly turned black? A black or darkened look indicates something is wrong beneath. While most people know it as a ‘black toenail’, the condition is called a subungual hematoma and causes a bruise under the nail.

You mostly get it from stubbing the toe or wearing shoes that cram your feet at the front. It may also be a result of trauma or fungus infections. The black toenail usually starts as red, purple, dark brown, or black. The final stage is when the blood in the nail pools and forms clots.

If you notice any discoloration on your big toe, you must contact us, even without the pain. This is because it indicates that something is wrong and needs immediate medical attention.

Contact Us Today for Help With Big Toe Pain

Again, this page is focused on big toe pain, not big toe joint pain which is on a separate page (link once the other page is posted). It is crucial for those experiencing big toe pain to seek appropriate medical attention.

At Foot & Ankle Associates of Greater Pittsburgh, we know how stressful it can be to deal with pain in the feet, especially the big toes. It affects your mobility, posture, and even comfort. Worry no more! We’ve got you covered.

Contact our office by calling 724-774-1525 or by filling out our online contact form and our staff will be in touch with you to book your appointment with us. We look forward to helping you be rid of your big toe pain and get back to doing what you love.

Contact Us


336 College Avenue, Suite 106, Beaver,
PA , 15009

Monday: 8am – 12pm

Tuesday: 8am – 4:30pm

Wednesday: 8am – 4:30pm

Thursday: 8am – 4:30pm

Friday: 8am – 12pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed