Bone spurs typically develop due to bone and joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, calcification due to overuse or excess pressure, and bone or joint trauma. When damage to a bone or joint occurs due to trauma or degeneration, spurs sometimes develop because the body is trying to heal itself, according to Arthritis-Treatment-and-Relief.com. Symptoms are often caused by the bone or joint condition leading to a bone spur growth, such as big-toe arthritis, and not necessarily the spur itself.
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Arthritis that affects the big toe is called hallux rigidus, and because of the way feet are designed, the joint located at the big-toe base, or the metatarophalangeal joint, is more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the foot, according to Arthritis-Treatment-and-Relief.com. This makes big-toe arthritis quite common, and it often leads to bone spurs of the big-toe joint.
Pain that occurs at the big-toe base is the most common symptom. The pain is often worsened by heightened activity such as running, according to Arthritis-Treatment-and-Relief.com. You may also notice lack of mobility in the joint. Visible swelling can also occur around the joint, as well as a noticeable bump on top of the foot, explains the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Your health care provider can determine whether your joint cartilage has worn away, or if you have developed bone spurs, through examination and X-rays.
Common Nonsurgical Treatments
Wear shoes with a stiff or firm sole to prevent movement of the big-toe joint at the base of the toe. Special inserts or shoes can be worn to limit motion also. You can also treat the big-toe condition with alternating hot and cold packs or baths, advises the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Taking anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers such as ibuprofen can help relieve pain and swelling.
Curcumin, a component found in turmeric, has not only been used successfully in traditional Eastern medicine to relieve arthritis pain, but it is also used in modern-day naturopathy, due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities and antioxidant powers for healing, to treat osteoarthritis and bone spurs. You can also make a warm compress from linseed oil and apply it to the base of your big toe for pain relief, recommends Arthritis-Treatment-and-Relief.com. Glucosamine sulfate may also offer some relief. Check with a naturopath or herbalist and your primary health care provider before using herbal treatments for bone spurs of the big-toe joint.