Second Toe Pain

The symptoms of predislocation syndrome often include swelling and warmth under the base of the 2nd toe.

Are you experiencing pain in the 2nd toe on your foot? If you didn’t drop something on your foot or have it stepped on, what could be causing this discomfort? Below, we take a closer take a look at the most common factor individuals experience pain in their 2nd toe that’s not brought on by a direct blow, and we explain how the condition is treated.

What Causes Second Toe Pain?

The most common reason people experience pain in their second toe is due to an issue referred to as capsulitis. Capsulitis is a condition that is classified by inflammation in the ligaments of the second toe. These ligaments surround the toe joint at the base and form a capsule to help the joint move effectively, which is where the name derives from. Capsulitis can develop in any toe of the foot, but it is most common in the second toe.

When capsulitis sets in, the swelling can trigger significant discomfort, and if it goes unattended, it can ultimately lead to weakening of the surrounding ligaments and an increased capacity for toe dislocation. Because of this, capsulitis is often likewise referred to as “predislocation syndrome.”

Symptoms of Second Toe Pain

Capsulitis is triggered by irregular foot mechanics or unequal tension distribution where the ball of the foot beneath the toe joint takes an excessive quantity of the weightbearing. Some foot irregularities that can lead to this uneven tension circulation include the start of a bunion, having a 2nd toe that’s longer than your fantastic toe, an unstable foot arch and a tight calf muscle.

Symptoms of capsulitis include:

  • Pain in the second toe
  • Discomfort in the ball of the foot
  • The sensation that there’s a marble in your shoe or that your sock is bunched up
  • Swelling at the base of the 2nd toe
  • Trouble wearing shoes or pain while using shoes
  • Discomfort when walking barefoot
  • A visible wandering of the second toe to the huge toe, or even a crossing over onto the big toe


Getting a precise medical diagnosis is important because the symptoms of capsulitis and Morton’s neuroma are similar, and efficient treatment choices for both conditions vary, so you wish to guarantee you’re treating the ideal condition. Detecting capsulitis involves having the medical professional listen to your symptoms, conducting a physical examination and versatility tests, then verifying the suspicions with an X-ray. In some instances an MRI may be bought, but an X-ray will typically be sufficient.

Information verified by the team.

How Is Second Toe Pain Treated?

Dealing with capsulitis begins with some conservative care alternatives. The earlier treatment begins, the greater the probability for success. Some typical nonsurgical treatment options include:

Rest and Ice. Staying off the foot and icing it can help reduce discomfort and swelling.

Medications. Nonsteroidial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help to ease localized inflammation.

Taping or Splinting. Taping or splinting the toe can assist prevent it from shifting, crossing over or dislocating.

Stretching. Stretching exercises can assist prevent versus capsulitis caused by tight calf muscles.

Shoe Modifications. Your orthopedic surgeon can help fit your foot into a more comfortable shoe that better supports your foot or arch, which will ease some of the abnormal tension. You may also be prescribed an orthotic shoe insert.

Surgical treatment is only recommended for patients who fail to achieve relief from conservative care strategies and are experiencing moving of the second toe towards the big toe. If the foot specialist figures out that its unlikely that the toe will return to its original position without surgical treatment, than a minimally intrusive restorative treatment can be carried out on an outpatient basis to remedy the defect.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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