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Hallux Rigidus Treatment Options | Non-Surgical & Surgical Treatment

About Hallux Rigidus, well, you must be wondering what it is, or you probably are already trying to cope with it which is why you are here. Either way, you will get your Hallux Rigidus solution here.

​First off, Hallux rigidus is arthritis of the big toe joint, in other words, it is a sharp pain that occurs in the big toe joint. This is a condition commonly associated with the Arthritis of the foot.

Luckily, there are several treatment options that you can explore for a suitable solution. The better part is that you can use more than one treatment to soothe the problem.

Read Also: 6 Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus (Men’s and Women’s)

Hallux Rigidus Treatment Options? Read On!

Just like any other illness, Hallux Rigidus has several stages. Some are at extremes, while others are in between. Hence, Hallux Rigidus has both surgical and non-surgical treatment options, so it is up to you to see which one will work for your specific condition. Let’s indulge in these options;

A. Non-Surgical treatment methods

Non-surgical treatment options are on the top list of treatments. Start out with them before considering the surgical options.

1. Use of Pain Relievers and Anti-Inflammatories

Hallux Rigidus is really painful, to say the least. The first thing you do to curb the pain is to use painkillers. If the pain does not go away with specific pain killers, try to change for stronger ones. 

If the disease is in its advanced stages, taking stronger pain killers could be the only way you will relieve the pain. This way, you can at least now think of how to get rid of the annoying illness.

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Sadly, the problem can even bring you to a situation where none of your shoes fit you at all. That brings us to the use of anti-inflammatories.

Secondly, embark on the use of anti-inflammatories.  Anti-inflammatories minimize or eliminate the inflammation altogether. Especially when used in the first stages of Hallux Rigidus, anti-inflammatories used with pain killers could curb the disease altogether.

Anti-inflammatories come in a variety of choices. There are gels and creams, and there are those that require you to take them orally. If you plan to buy the drugs over the counter, then you can seek advice from the chemist on the most effective drugs for you.

Nevertheless, we always recommend that you see a doctor or even seek specialist advice. Fortunately, today you don’t have to physically visit the doctor. You can have an online chat and you will get your treatment prescribed.

2. Change of Footwear

When you realize that your swollen or painful toe is already experiencing Hallux Rigidus, you should change your footwear immediately. Here are some proposals;

  • Use a supportive shoe inserts in your shoes, which will prevent pressure going to the toe when walking. This way, you will minimize movement at the toe area, subsequently preventing further pain and damage. You will get several options online and even in physical stores, so you can check out.

Get shoes with a larger toe box. These shoes, put very little pressure on your toes or even don’t have any contact with the toe. The shoe pressure could increase the pain, which these shoes prevent.

You can opt for shoes with a rigid out-sole. These are shoes that will limit the toe from bending during a walk. A bend of the toe could increase damage and swelling. Therefore, avoid shoes with flexible soles.

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Unfortunately, you may have to forego heels. For some women, this may come as a hard blow, but for the sake of your toe health, you will have to do without the heels.

Finally, if the Hallux Rigidus is advanced, you may need a walking boot. Walking boots are open at the top, and the straps so large that you can slide your foot without touching them. The insole is soft, comfortable, and supportive, while the out-sole is rigid. Generally, the shoe ensures that you heal faster, whether after surgery or even when using non-surgical methods.

3. Avoiding Strenuous Foot Activities

Sadly, for you, once you realize that you are suffering from arthritis of the toe, then you have to quit some activities. Workouts such as jogging, running, and cycling have to stop for some time, at least until you get your solution.

This stems from the strain that the activities put on the toes, which could make it worse. Though you can exercise a little at a time, it is best to stop completely during the first days of the illness. You don’t want the illness advancing from one stage to another, because, trust me, you will not like the idea.

You can check for alternative workouts that will not involve the toes so that you are not left feeling idle and helpless.

4. Alternate Extreme Temperatures

This interesting treatment option involves alternating very cold temperatures with very hot ones.  For instance, you can get ice packs, which you will put pressed on your affected toe. Then, after some time you can consider a heat pack. Then the ice pack and so on.

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Alternatively, you can dip your foot in cold water in a basin, then in hot water, and so on.

The bottom line is to ensure that you jump-start your toe, which is already numb and stiff. At least after this process, you will start to see the toe move, even a little bit.

Related: 6 Effective Hallux Rigidus Exercises

B. Surgical Treatment

If all the non-surgical methods fail to help you with the arthritis, then, unfortunately, you will have to face a surgical procedure. In any case, all we want is that finally, you are free from the illness.

1. Cheilectomy

Cheilectomy is basically a trim of the bone spur, which is located over the metatarsal. When you remove it, the toe will finally manage a movement, and this will not only finish the numbness but also ease the pain.

However, you can only undergo this procedure if the level of the Hallux Rigidus is still mild, or slightly moderate.

2. Inter-positional Arthroplasty

This procedure involves replacing the damaged bone with another soft tissue, either from your own foot or from a donor. The procedure is best for people who have moderate or advanced Hallux Rigidus condition.

Final Word

Though quite a real pain, Hallux Rigidus is treatable. Better still, you have more options to choose from, so you can check on the most effective. And, you can skip from one method to another, until you get the option that finally does it all.

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