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How to Treat a Sore Big Toe

Reviewed by Dr. Sam
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If you have a sore big toe that is causing you a lot of pain, you aren’t alone.

This type of pain is common and may be caused by shoes that do not fit properly; exposure to cold temperatures; an injury due to dropping something on your toe, kicking something or stubbing your toe; an ingrown toenail; and cuts or scrapes. Bunions, arthritis, hammertoes, blisters, corns, calluses and infections are additional causes of toe pain. Diabetes can also cause tenderness in the feet and toes.

A painful big toe can make walking very difficult. Along with throbbing pain and inflammation, there can be numbness, swelling and a burning sensation. The problem can be in one or both big toes, depending on the cause.


Don’t let pain in your big toe affect your quality of life, as there are many simple and effective remedies that can help.

While relieving big toe pain can be possible at home, consult your doctor if you are suffering from a bunion, arthritis, hammertoes or some kind of infection.

How to treat a sore big toe

Here are the top 10 home remedies to deal with a sore big toe.


1. Ice

Ice therapy is a good way to reduce pain and swelling in a big toe that is caused by some kind of injury or trauma.

Use ice therapy to treat a sore big toe

The cold temperature helps reduce swelling and pain by temporarily numbing the nerve endings. Ice therapy provides quick relief.

  1. Put some crushed ice in a small plastic bag and wrap a thin towel around it.
  2. Apply it on the big toe for not more than 10 minutes at a time.
  3. Repeat a few times a day.

You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel.

Caution: Do not use ice directly on the skin, as it can damage the skin and nerves.

2. Hot Water Soak

Hot water treatment with table salt or Epsom salt is another simple yet effective home remedy to deal with a sore big toe.

Use hot water treatment with table or Epsom salt to treat a sore big toe

While the heat helps decrease pain by increasing blood flow to the area, the salt will disinfect the area and take care of any kind of infection.

  1. Fill a small foot tub with hot water of bearable temperature.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt or regular table salt and mix it in thoroughly.
  3. Soak your feet in this water until it turns cold.
  4. Dry your feet with a clean towel.
  5. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.

3. Rest and Elevate Your Toe

When suffering from a sore big toe, resting and elevating your foot can help a lot in relieving pain and swelling.

Rest and elevate your foot to treat a sore big toe

Rest is especially helpful if you have a sore toe due to an injury or overexertion. Try and stay off your foot for a few days, and soon you will notice improvement in the pain. Also, you must avoid any kind of strenuous exercise, and do not even go walking or jogging until your pain passes.

Also, elevate the foot with the sore toe while you’re resting. Elevation can help reduce soreness and swelling.

4. Massage

Massage also helps relieve pain and discomfort in the big toe. Rubbing the sore toe in a firm but gentle manner can do wonders.

Use massage to treat a sore big toe

Massage helps by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Apart from improving pain, it also aids in reducing stiffness and improving range of motion of the affected toe.

  1. Rub some warm oil like coconut, olive or mustard oil on the big toe. To make it more effective, you can a few drops of eucalyptus and arnica essential oils in it.
  2. Applying gentle pressure, massage the toe for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Massage the toe a few times a day.

How to Treat a Sore Big Toe was last modified: February 22nd, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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