Have you ever started walking and it felt like you had a rock in your shoe? Was this pain in the ball of your foot and towards your second toe (the toe adjacent to your big toe)? If so, you may be experiencing a condition called capsulitis.
Second Toe Capsulitis- What is that?
Capsulitis most often affects the joints of the second toe. It appears as inflammation of the surrounding joints and structures around the metatarsal (where the toe meets the ball of the foot). The ligaments that surround the joint at the base of the toe form a capsule. These ligaments can become inflamed due to a variety of factors and cause pain and swelling.
People sometimes describe the pain associated with capsulitis as walking with a rock in your shoe or walking on a painful bruise, commonly on the ball of your foot. Swelling of the foot can also be seen with capsulitis, especially the longer you have been experiencing this pain. Movement of the second toe might also be more uncomfortable.
A variety of factors can cause capsulitis of the second toe, even genetics, but very often it can be something you have control over with your daily actions or lifestyle. Here are some causes to be aware of:
-Tight calf muscles
-Shoes that are too tight
-Wearing high heels, especially those causing excessive toe bending
-Bunions and hammertoes
-The second toe is longer than the big toe
-Overuse of the toes by crouching or kneeling
Help Me Find Relief
Unfortunately, staying off of the affected foot can be most beneficial. In a world that is go, go, go, this can be hard to do. Try to rest, elevate, and ice the area as often as you can. Visit a podiatrist and have custom orthotic inserts made so your shoes can be more supportive and relieve the pressure you feel in this area. Sometimes your podiatrist might recommend a metatarsal pad. Other times, taking an anti-inflammatory medicine can help but contact your primary care doctor first. Lastly, stretching to release tight calf muscles is very important to do regularly. If the muscles in your leg are tight, then the ligaments in your foot will be working overtime. Make sure everything is loose and functioning properly.
My Pain Won’t Go Away
If your pain is persisting, it’s time to contact a Podiatrist. Often, this condition can be misdiagnosed or confused with another condition. For example, Morton’s neuroma occurs in the nerves, not the joints and often associates with the third and forth toe, rather than the second. It is always important to get a proper diagnosis from a specialist so your condition can be treated most appropriately and quickly.
At Howard County Foot and Ankle, we treat everything from capsulitis, warts, and ingrown toenails to flatfeet and heel pain. Many people come to us for diabetic foot care or simply because they have foot pain or ankle pain and don’t know the cause of it. We handle emergencies such as fractures and infections as well. Dr. Bui performs a wide variety of surgeries and specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. You won’t find a better foot doctor than our highly skilled and highly qualified, Dr. Christina Bui! We would love to be your go-to Podiatrist!