Foot Conditions Share Tweet Pin Share Pain in the big toe has a medical name , which is hallux (big toe or great toe) rigidus (stiffness), or hallux limitus (limited movement). If the pain is not caused by any disease (Gout, Osteoarthritis, Reiter's Syndrome, Scleroderma, Reynaud's Disease, or Erythromelalgia), heredity reasons (exceptionally long great toe, abnormally bent great toe, high arches, pronation abnormalities), or other problems (conditions such as an ingrown toenail) , it is a mechanical problem , meaning the normal foot function has deteriorated over time from repeated stress to the toe. This can happen from wearing high heels frequently. The big toe has two bones with cartilage and a joint capsule in between to provide a cushion between the bones. When the toe is constantly forced into an unnatural position the cartilage begins to wear down, and eventually the bones are actually grinding against each other. At first , you may only feel some tightness, mild swelling on top of the foot, or a soreness when standing on your tiptoes. This is when you need to be pro-active! Get custom orthotics made. They will: Reduce movement of the big toe, relieving pain, reducing cartilage damage, and prevent bone spurs. Stabilize the big toe, allowing the rest of the foot to absorb some of the work. Provide the proper amount of arch support. Stabilize the entire foot and bring it back to a normal alignment. Be sure the soles of your shoes are rigid and your shoes are long enough so the toe isn't jammed forward with every step. Don't run "on your toes"; be sure your entire foot is involved when running. If prevention is done early, your feet will be happy!