What is Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus?

Hallux Limitus is a progressive condition of the big toe joint, that reduces the range of movement needed for walking in the “toe off”  phase of gait, causing a stiff and painful big toe.

Hallux Rigidus  is the total absence of upward movement of the big toe.

The stiff and painful big toe becomes progressively worse. This condition  can occur as a result of sporting injuries and is frequently seen in younger adults, but may also present in the older population as an age related change, as it is essentially a type of osteoarthritis.

Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus Snapshot

  • Reduce range of motion of the bog toe joint
  • Can be very painful and make walking difficult
  • Commonly seen and treated by podiatrists
  • Can affect quality of life and lead to surgery if left untreated


Causes of Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus

  • Trauma or repetitive injuries (stubbing the toe, turf toe).
  • Wearing unsuitable footwear or frequent wear of high heels.
  • Improper running technique.
  • Structural or functional abnormalities, including excessively flat or high arched feet.
  • An elevated or an abnormally long 1st metatarsal (big toe bone).
  • Occupation, as kneeling for long periods of time can predispose patients to this condition.


Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus Symptoms

  • Pain, swelling, stiffness and crunching in the big toe, especially after activity.
  • Loss of joint space and bone spurring evident of X-ray.
  • Reduced functional hallux limitus test (preformed by podiatrist).
  • Gait changes and compensations. associated with this reduced range of motion (assessed by the podiatrist).


Treatment for Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus

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Well Heeled Podiatry can diagnose your foot pain with a thorough clinical history and gait analysis.

Your foot posture and function will be assessed and the reason for you pain and symptoms will be discussed with you in detail, providing you with the best evidence based treatments available.

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