How to relieve toe pain

It is not possible to stop toe deformation. 

However it is feasible to relieve pain caused by the changes in the shape and position of the toes.

Wearing comfortable shoes is the best solution. In case of toe deformations, suitable footwear should be made of soft materials, with 3–5cm heels and roomy toe boxes. You may ask the shoemaker to stretch the shoe where necessary. Choosing one size larger footwear can often solve the problem.

Toe orthoses keep the toes in their right position and protect from rubbing. There is no need to wear orthoses that change the position of toes at night, because they have effect only when walking. Toe orthoses may occasionally feel uncomfortable and increase discomfort as they leave less room for toes in the shoes.


Orthotic insoles relieve ball of foot pain that is caused by excessive burden due to deformed toes. If you wear orthotic insoles, the weight is distributed from ball of foot to the centre of the foot and weight-bearing pressure on the forefoot is reduced. Custom-made insoles have the best effect. 







At an early stage of toe deformation, it may be of help if you continuously bend and stretch all the joints of your toe: this enables to slow down deformation.

If your big toe is in normal position but causes pain and does not bend as much as necessary, this may be a condition called stiff big toe, or hallux rigidus. In this case, stiff-soled shoe or a special pad under the toe may help that doesn't allow the toe to elevate too much. 

In case of severe pain, you may use painkillers for a short period. Long-term management of pain caused by deformed toes with medication refers to the need for surgical treatment.