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Is there any swelling of the big toe? and is there any discoloration of the skin over the big toe?
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no swelling or discoloration
Is it stiff in the mornings?
Does moving it around help ease the pain?
Alright, does the joint hurt, there are two, the one near the nail and another after it.
the joint near the nail hurts
Okay, this seems to be a sprained big toe, usually there is a causative factor like a compression force or a shearing force, that is experienced but usually the pain starts at night or during rest when the joint is at rest and inflammation starts to settle in.
Sprained toe joints usually mean there is a ligament, joint capsule or soft tissue injury to the toe.
This is not arthritis or gout since, there is no swelling and discoloration of the joint and only the interphalangeal joint is affected which is rarity in arthritis as well as in gout.
what do you suggest i do
This can take up to 2 to 6 weeks to heal, depending on the degree of soft tissue injury.
You should start on an anti inflammatory medication like Advil twice a day for 5 to 7 days, massage the big toe with Ibuprofen liquigel thrice or four times a day, keep the toe covered to avoid cold exposure and also avoid wearing heels or tight ended shoes.
do i excersise or rest the toe
You can also get a stack splint for the toe which will immobilize the IP joint, these are available at pharmacies, and you should keep that on for about 18 hours a day and take them off during you sleep at night and sleep with the foot elevated over a pillow.
Do not exercise it, but you should gently move the joint when you do not have the splint on, flex and extend gently with your hand.