Recent Blog Articles

Diseases & Conditions

Battling the big toe joint blues

May 01, 2019

Arthritis, bunions, and gout can be disabling. Here are common fixes to stay mobile.

l0519d16207258933656

Aching hips, knees, and shoulders are common, and over time can lead to immobility. But so can an aching big toe. The joint at the base of the big toe — called the metatarsophalangeal or MTP joint — is the part of the toe that is affected.

What's the MTP joint?

The MTP joint connects the first long bone (metatarsal) in the forefoot to the first bone of the big toe (phalanx). The joint bends with every step you take, so that you can push off and let the other leg move forward. But the MTP joint takes a beating during that process: for a brief moment as you push off, the MTP joint supports half of your body weight.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.