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Learn about your toe stiffness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your toe stiffness from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Toe Stiffness Checker

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Your Toe Stiffness May Also be Known as:
Feet stiffness
Feet tightness
Foot stiffness
Foot tightness
Hard to bend feet
Hard to bend foot
Hard to bend toe
Hard to bend toes
Hard to move feet
Hard to move foot

Top 10 Toe Stiffness Causes

  1. 1.Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it is caused by the immune system incorrectly attacking the joints when it shouldn't.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a specialist. RA is a complex disease, which can require prescription medication to help slow down the damage to your joints, as well as pain killers such as ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Anaprox and Naprosyn). Exercise, especially swimming, can also help with pain and stiffness.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, muscle aches, joint pain, daytime sleepiness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Raynaud Phenomenon

    Primary Raynaud phenomenon is a disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes, which causes the blood vessels to narrow when feeling cold or stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with conservative measures, such as avoiding cold and use of protective measures and/or quitting smoking. If this is ineffective or you have other symptoms in addition to this, contact your primary care physician when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, turning blue or purple from coldness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is treated symptomatically. Medication, therapy, and stress reduction may reduce symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, trouble sleeping, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    hidden: arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy

    Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy is the dysfunction of a tendon (muscles to bones) in the back of the foot, which can lead to having flat feet. It's unclear why exactly it happens, but might be related to poor blood flow and mechanical issues specific to the person.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who can diagnose this condition by clinical interview and exam. Treatment is conservative and involves a cast, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, and orthotic footwear. Surgery is a last resort.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, swollen foot, limping, pain in one ankle, heel pain
    Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Toe Stiffness Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having toe stiffness.

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  6. 6.Femoral Stress Fracture

    A femoral stress fracture is a small crack in the thigh bone (femur). These fractures are most often a result of overuse and are commonly seen with an increase in activity. Stress fractures of the thigh bone are much less common than those of the shin bone (tibia), but nonetheless do occur in high-risk groups such as athletes and military recruits.

    You need to get your injury checked by a physician, sometimes a MRI scan is needed to confirm the diagnosis. It may be helpful to consult with a physical therapist as well. The treatment for a stress fracture involves avoiding repeated stress on the leg, which means cutting down on high-intensity activity. Exercise that puts less repeated stress on the leg, such as cycling or swimming, is recommended.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dull, achy hip pain, pain in one thigh, thigh pain, spontaneous hip pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Foot Sprain

    The bones of the ankle and foot are held together by ligaments, which are bands of tough tissue. A sprain is a type of injury where one or more of the ligaments is stretched too far, causing tiny fibers in the ligaments to tear. In most cases, the ligament does not tear completely.

    You should go to a retail clinic to have the foot sprain evaluated. Most often, minor sprains can be treated by resting the foot, elevating it while sitting or laying down, and applying an ice pack or heat. Over-the-counter pain medication can help as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, limping, foot injury, warm red foot swelling, swelling of one foot
    Symptoms that always occur with foot sprain:
    pain in one foot, foot injury
    Symptoms that never occur with foot sprain:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  8. 8.Fibular Nerve Injury

    Fibular nerve damage can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including trauma, surgery, weight loss, and others.

    Make a doctor's appointment to address your fibular nerve damage, and find out the underlying cause.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Foot Bruise

    A foot contusion (bruise) is the result of physical damage to the veins and capillaries (which help move blood back toward the heart). The blood pools in the damaged area and creates that blue/purple color.

    You can take care of this at home with rest, ice, keeping your foot up, and over-the-counter pain medication

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, foot injury, foot pain from an injury, pain when touching the foot, foot bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with foot bruise:
    foot pain from an injury, foot injury
    Symptoms that never occur with foot bruise:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Toe Stiffness

  • Q.Is your foot stiffness getting better or worse?
  • Q.How severe is your foot stiffness?
  • Q.Is your foot pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How severe is your foot pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our toe stiffness symptom checker.

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Toe Stiffness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced toe stiffness have also experienced:

    • 8% Big Toe Pain
    • 7% Foot Pain
    • 5% Toe Pain
  • People who have experienced toe stiffness had symptoms persist for:

    • 50% Over a Month
    • 20% Less Than a Day
    • 18% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced toe stiffness were most often matched with:

    • 14% Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • 10% Raynaud Phenomenon
    • 8% Hypothyroidism

Toe Stiffness Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having toe stiffness.

Take a quiz