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Why is the pad under my big toe hurting and sometimes swollen?

I am a 32 year old mother of four. I have been wearing gym shoes every day even when I am only working around the house. For the past month my foot has been hurting. When I take off my gym shoes, the pad of my foot under my big toe has been swollen to the point that there is no crevice in the "knuckle" area of that toe. I do not recall injuring my foot at all, but I do remember waking up one morning and it was very sore. Is this serious enough that it warrants a visit to my family doctor?
Your big toe is an important structure as it bears the brunt of the force when walking and helps to maintain balance. Therefore, pain in this area can cause significant disability and it is important to get it checked out by your primary care doctor or a podiatrist. The causes of big toe pain range from benign to more serious. One of the most common causes of foot and toe pain is ill-fitting shoes. Make sure that your shoes have adequate room and are not squeezing the widest part of your foot or pinching anywhere. Hallux rigidus is the medical term for pain and stiffness in the joint of your big toe. It can be treated conservatively but sometimes progresses to the point that surgery is indicated. Bunions are also a common cause of pain in the big toe. Bunions are characterized by enlargement at the base of the big toe caused by inflammation of the fluid filled sac known as a bursa. Often the symptoms of bunions can be alleviated by orthotics and wearing wider shoes but sometimes surgery is needed. In the interim until you see your doctor, try taking tylenol or advil to alleviate pain, ice your toe a few times a day and keep it elevated as much as possible to help with swelling,
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
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