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What causes aching toes?

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Toes are small, but they have a large job. They help you walk and run and keep your balance, too. So if your toe hurts, it can be a big deal.

There are a lot of reasons you may have an aching toe. There's always the chance you stubbed it, of course, or banged it up while playing sports. But there are also problems like hammertoe or arthritis that could be to blame. Watch out for some telltale symptoms and check with your doctor to figure out the cause.

SOURCES:

Journal of Orthopaedic Research: "The Role of the Great Toe in Balance Research."

Journal of Experimental Biology: "Walking, Running, and the Evolution of Short Toes in Humans."

American Orthopaedic Food & Ankle Society: "Conditions."

Mayo Clinic: "Hammertoe and Mallet Toe," "Broken Toe."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Claw Toe."

American Podiatric Medical Association: "Foot Health."

University of Wisconsin-Madison Sports Medicine Clinic: "Turf Toe."

University of Utah Orthopaedic Health Library: "Bone Bruise."

Arthritis Foundation: "Gout Treatment."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 4, 2019

SOURCES:

Journal of Orthopaedic Research: "The Role of the Great Toe in Balance Research."

Journal of Experimental Biology: "Walking, Running, and the Evolution of Short Toes in Humans."

American Orthopaedic Food & Ankle Society: "Conditions."

Mayo Clinic: "Hammertoe and Mallet Toe," "Broken Toe."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Claw Toe."

American Podiatric Medical Association: "Foot Health."

University of Wisconsin-Madison Sports Medicine Clinic: "Turf Toe."

University of Utah Orthopaedic Health Library: "Bone Bruise."

Arthritis Foundation: "Gout Treatment."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 4, 2019

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What are treatments for hammer toe, mallet toe, and claw toe?

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