The big toe deviates outward, causing the toe and first metacarpal swelling, which is called hallux valgus. A prominent bone can sometimes swell like an abscess, causing severe tenderness. The severity can be assessed by measuring the angle of the big toe to the first metacarpal bone. In a normal population, the big toe should deviate less than 15 degrees outward when standing, and the first and second metacarpals should deviate less than 10 degrees. If the toe deforms more than the above degree, it can be diagnosed as hallux valgus. In addition, X-rays can assist assessing the bones contour, the extent of joint enlargement, and the presence of small bone displacement of the feet.
Self File | 拇指外翻 Hallux Valgus_腳痛成因物理治療



There are multiple causes of hallux valgus. There are genetic factors and congenital foot abnormalities such as flat feet, too long big toe, etc. Apart from them, the most common factor is the habit of wearing shoes. Women who often wear tight or pointed high heels are prone to have abnormal toe compression. It is easy to cause inflammation or even permanent deformity, and resulting in hallux valgus.

Self File | Hallux Valgus 拇指外翻_Foot Pain Causes and Physiotherapy Treatment



Risk Factors

Inappropriate shoes wear, standing or walking too much, poor standing posture, inadequate rest, etc


Common Symptoms
  • Chronic pain and swelling in the great toe
  • Increased pain when wearing tight shoes
  • In severe cases, the big toe will deviate and cross above or below the second toe, which indirectly causes deformation of the second toe




Changing habits of wearing shoes is most important for controlling or improving symptoms. It is suggested to choose shoes with a larger toe-box and lower heels to reduce loading and provide enough space. Also, maintaining the big toe in a good position is very important. Using toe separation devices or splints at night or most of the time can improve symptoms.


Besides, some manual techniques, foot stretching, and strengthening exercises can effectively relieve symptoms. If you need to do strenuous exercise, the toes taping method may be needed to reduce the stress during exercise. If the pain is still severe, it may eventually need to be corrected by surgery. However, it is necessary to receiving post-operation rehabilitation for good results.

Self File | 拇指外翻 Hallux Valgus_腳痛成因物理治療趾托

Self File | 拇指外翻 Hallux Valgus_腳痛成因物理治療運動



Preventive Measures

Choose shoes with a more spacious toe-box and lower heels to prevent compressing on the protruding part of the metacarpal bones and pay attention to the walking posture.






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