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Painful Big Toe Joint (Hallux Limitus/Rigidus)

Painful 1st metatarsophalangeal jointThe big toe joint (called the metatarsophalangeal joint or MPT joint) is an important joint that needs to be able to bend for the foot to work as efficiently as it should. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the joint can become stiff and make walking painful at this area – and sometimes it can become so bad that it results in a complete loss of movement.

Limited Movement at 1st MTP joint

Footwear is important in these cases. If the joint cannot bend, then a shoe with a stiff sole – or rocker sole – can be useful.

Rocker soled shoe

A shoe with a decent heel height may make symptoms worse as this will ask more of the joint and so may be best avoided – or at least limited.

High heel shoes

Exercise videos

The videos below show exercises that may be useful in strengthening the muscle to help it cope better with the demand that you are placing on it.

Don’t expect things to improve overnight though. It takes time for muscles and joints to adapt and get stronger.

Please Note: If you do not see any sign of improvement after 6 – 8 weeks of following the advice and exercises in this leaflet, please get referred to see a Podiatrist who can assess your foot and potentially recommend further treatment.

Patient Information

To find out more about Painful Big Toe Joint (Hallux Limitus/Rigidus), including information about exercises, visit our webpage.