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Throbbing Pain In Big Toe At Night

Many individuals have the misconception that throbbing pain in the big toe mostly occurs at night.

While this may be true for some people, it does not confirm the general time of occurrence.

Throbbing pain in your big toe can occur during the day and during different activities, depending on the cause and duration.

Most people complain of pain in their big toe at night, while this does not occur in every foot pain.

It may happen because of lifestyle choices, putting pressure on a still sore toe, or triggering pain when you stand up or walk after resting for a while.

Different Foot Pain

The foot is the foundation of movement; it is structured in such an intricate way that it contains tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves.

It is connected to the lower leg through the ankle joints. However, sometimes pain may occur on the foot. But did you know there are different foot pain?

Here are 3 common areas and types of foot pain;

Pain In The Ball Of The Foot

This type of foot pain occurs in the foot’s ball, on the bottom part of the foot, right behind the toes. Causes include nerve or joint damage.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar is the sole surface of the foot associated with the fascia, a fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel of the bone to the base of the toes.

It supports the foot’s natural arch and helps bear weight by stretching and becoming taut.

Overuse and wear and tear of the plantar lead to an inflammation of the fascia.

This then causes a severe type of foot pain known as plantar fasciitis, which is a pain in the foot that is more prevalent when standing up after resting for a while.

This type of foot pain is more common in women, people with high arches, flat feet, people who are overweight, and individuals with occupations that require standing or walking on hard surfaces for a long time.

Tight calf muscles can also trigger this foot pain, especially when walking or running.

Achilles Tendon Injury

Although the largest tendon in the human body is the Achilles tendon, it is also the most affected site for ruptures and inflammation of the tendon.

It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is prone to injuries from overuse. Symptoms include stiffness, pain, and swelling.

Stiffness may disappear after warmups while pain may be mild and gradually worsen after exercises.

Symptoms Of Pain In Big Toe

There are various symptoms of pain in your big toe, depending on the type and cause of the pain. However, the most common symptoms are;


Pain varies for every individual. Sometimes it may be mild and not really a cause for concern, just as it can also be so intense and throbbing.

It may also be more obvious when standing or walking.


Swelling is another common symptom. Most times, after an injury or inflammation, the first signs to show is swelling in the affected area.

It may go down immediately after a while or last until treatment is completed. If you notice an odd and debilitating swelling symptom, consult your doctor.


The foot comprises various parts that can easily become inflamed if there is no proper or adequate care and attention.

Inflammation can arise because of poor hygiene or depending on the type of injury. They also make it easier for infections to occur.


The discoloration is not so common except in cases like corn or infections. Discoloration might sometimes be a sign of a severe condition.


Bruises occur when injuries affect the underlying soft tissues or bone of the foot. This may lead to an infection or inflammation if it is not treated on time.

Causes Of Throbbing Pain In The Big Toe At Night

Heel Spur

A heel spur is a bone growth on the underside of the heel bone, where it connects the heel bone to the plantar fascia.

Pain may occur in these parts of the foot because of stress and inflammation on the tissue supporting the bone, general wear, and tear of the plantar fascia, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or being overweight.

This pain surfaces over time in response to stress on the heel spur.


Individuals often get confused about the relationship between their feet and corns. Corns are callus growths that develop on the top of the toes.

They are usually yellowish and harder than the surrounding surface. They also cause extreme pain and discomfort.

Corns occur mostly because of stress and friction. For instance, corn may arise after stubbing your toe or when it rubs against another toe or shoe.


A bunion is a bump or swelling of a bone or tissue surrounding a joint. They arise when these joints are stressed.

Bunions are more common in women than men and occur at the base of the big toe or little toe.

This is because women wear tight, confined, or pointed shoes. They also occur because of arthritis, which affects the big toe joint.

Ankle Sprain

This is an injury to the ligaments found in the ankle. Ligaments are tissues as strong elastic bands that connect bones to one another.

Ankle sprains may occur if the ankle twists, turns, or rolls beyond its usual range of movement. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising.

Factors that can trigger this are awkward or wrong foot placement, weak muscles, irregular surfaces, overstretched ligaments.

Ingrown Toenails

Sometimes toenails may grow into the skin on the side of the nails. This causes pain, swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity that is felt more when pressure is put on the affected area.

Factors that can cause this include injury, unhealthy foot hygiene, activities that put pressure on the foot for an extended period, and pressure from shoes.

Turf Toe

Turf toe is sprained that affects the ligaments and soft tissue at the base of the big toe.

Excess stress on the toe causes this condition. This may be while flexing your toe or due to force or repetitive injury that develops.

Signs of a turf toe are discoloration, swelling, and debilitating pain that limits movement.


Arthritis is an inflammation of joints that leads to the decadence of the cartilage cushioning surrounding bones and joints.

It is known to commonly affect the big toe with symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness, mostly when walking or standing.

General overuse of the cartilage and poor foot alignment can cause arthritis.

Sprained Or Broken Toe

Pain may also be felt in the big toe because of injuries that sprain or break the toe. Sprains are injuries that affect the ligaments while broken toes affect the actual bone.

Pain may accompany sprains around the entire toe, bruising, swelling, difficulties with mobility, and tenderness.

Signs of a broken toe include dislocation, misalignment, severe pain in the affected area, inability to put any weight on the foot.


Gout is medically known as podagra. It is arthritis that commonly affects the big toe joint.

This is a metabolic condition caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood and joints.

Symptoms are inflammation, redness, and heat in the affected area, intense pain, swelling, and tenderness around the big toe joint.

Symptoms may appear to be more persistent at night.

Why You Have Throbbing Pain In Your Big Toe At Night

Throbbing pain in your big toe can occur any time of the day and sometimes become more obvious at night. There is no direct link to why toe pain is more prominent at night.

However, sometimes these triggers occur at night. For instance, some foot pain is more obvious when you stand or walk after resting for a while, which may be at night.

For individuals who wear tight, confined shoes. This surge of pain can occur after taking off the shoes and putting pressure on the still sore areas.

People who work in places with hard surfaces may also still feel pain in the foot even when resting at night.

This is mostly because of the build-up of pain over time that is easily triggered and irritated.

Treatment For Foot Pain

The most recommended relief option for pain involves lifestyle changes.

If you love wearing tight, confined or uncomfortable shoes that cause pain, change them for more comfortable types.

Individuals with occupations that have hard surfaces should opt for comfortable shoes or footwear made for these types of surfaces.

There are also natural remedies, including natural ingredients such as turmeric, cloves, or willow bark for relief.

Acupuncture, massages, and meditation can also be used as additional natural treatments.

Cold or hot therapy can also be used by gently applying a hot or cold compress to the affected area a few times daily, for at least 15-20 minutes.

Other treatment methods include medications and injections to relieve pain and inflammation.

You should also try as much as possible to rest and keep the affected leg or foot elevated when possible

Throbbing pain in your big toe can occur during the day and not only at night.

Regardless of the time of occurrence, this pain should not be overlooked, it should be treated as soon as possible.

Avoid or minimize activities that trigger big toe pain. Treat underlying conditions associated with them.


John Hopkins Medicine: Foot Pain And Problems

NHS: Toe Pain

Healthline: What’s Causing A Sharp Pain In My Big Toe

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