Causes of Hallux Rigidus

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  John

Hallux rigidus is arthritis of the big toe joint. It causes the big toe joint to become stiff and rigid and usually causes the area to become quite painful and swollen. There is no easy fix for hallux rigidus, and there’s no one singular cause. In fact, the direct cause of it isn’t known, although there are some things which can contribute to it.


The main cause of hallux rigidus isn’t known, however some believe that it’s a simple matter of wear and tear on the joint. With every step you take, a force twice your body weight passes through the joint, so it’s easy to see why the joint might be worn out over time.


In some people, an injury to the toe can cause hallux rigidus to develop. This can be something as small as stubbing your toe, or something more serious such as a sprained toe. The damage to the toe joint these can cause can be enough to trigger hallux rigidus, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most common causes of forefoot pain.


In some cases, hallux rigidus has been shown to run in families. That’s not to say that you’re guaranteed to get it if your mum or dad has it, just that the odds of you developing it are slightly higher. This is because the condition itself doesn’t run in families, just that a foot type or way of walking that makes you more susceptible to hallux rigidus.

Visit our Hallux Rigidus Range for Insoles for Hallux Rigidus

Other Foot Conditions

People with certain foot conditions are more at risk of developing hallux rigidus, including flat feet and over-pronation. This is because these conditions can cause the big toe joint to wear more than in people with standard arches or pronation. Because the increased stress can cause the joint to wear down faster, they increase the chance of hallux rigidus developing.

Inflammatory Diseases

Some inflammatory diseases, such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause hallux rigidus to develop. This is because they cause the joints to become inflamed and difficult to move. In this case, joint inflammation will also likely happen in other joints around the body.

Joint Infection

Hallux rigidus can also be caused by an infection in the toe joint, also known as septic arthritis. The infection causes the big toe joint to become inflamed, resulting in hallux rigidus. This is a very rare cause of hallux rigidus, but if this is the cause then prompt treatment is vital – if left untreated it can cause permanent joint damage.

Long Metatarsal Bone

Having a long first metatarsal bone (the bone connecting the big toe to the ankle) can be a risk factor for developing hallux rigidus. The extra length of the metatarsal can cause the toe to bend more than in those with a standard-length first metatarsal. This excess flex can cause more wear on the big toe joint, leading to hallux rigidus.

What Can Be Done For Hallux Rigidus?

One of the ways you can combat hallux rigidus is to wear a shoe insole designed to help with the condition. Hallux rigidus shoe insoles help to reduce the motion of the big toe. This helps to reduce the pain it can cause while walking, and help you to go about your day easier.

Another way shoe insoles for hallux rigidus can help with the condition is by reducing pressure on the joint. This helps it relax and reduces pain while walking.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on some insoles for hallux rigidus, head on over to Shoe Insoles and check out our range of Insoles for Hallux Rigidus.

  • Designed for Hallux Rigidus (Turf Toe)
  • Redistributes weight away from first metatarsal joint
  • Men's normal arch support insoles
  • Helps keep feet properly aligned, giving a better gait

  • Designed for Hallux Rigidus (Turf Toe)
  • Redistributes weight away from first metatarsal joint
  • Women's normal arch support insoles
  • Helps keep feet properly aligned to improve gait

  • Naturally moulds to your foot shape without heat
  • The non-extra-sensitive alternative to Superfeet Black DMP
  • Patented heel cup and contoured shape supports your foot
  • Anti-odour top coat keeps insoles hygienic

Total: £0.00
Your feet are in safe hands - Call the team on 020 7501 1102