Several factors can aggravate hallux rigidus or exacerbate its symptoms. These factors can be broadly categorized into two types: activity-related and footwear-related.
Certain activities or movements can exacerbate the symptoms of hallux rigidus. For example:
- Excessive Walking or Running: These activities put repetitive stress on the big toe joint, which can exacerbate pain and stiffness in individuals with hallux rigidus.
- Activities Involving Toe Bending: Any activity that involves excessive bending of the toe, such as squatting, lunging, or climbing stairs, can worsen symptoms.
- High-Impact Activities: High-impact activities like jumping or activities that put a lot of pressure on the toe, such as ballet, can also exacerbate symptoms.
The type of footwear a person uses can also aggravate hallux rigidus. Specifically:
- High Heels: Wearing high heels can put extra pressure on the front of the foot, exacerbating hallux rigidus symptoms.
- Poorly Fitted Shoes: Shoes that are too tight, too loose, or do not provide adequate support can worsen the symptoms of hallux rigidus.
- Shoes without Adequate Cushioning or Support: Footwear without enough cushioning can place extra stress on the big toe joint.
In general, individuals with hallux rigidus may be able to manage their symptoms better by avoiding activities that exacerbate the condition and choosing footwear that provides support and comfort. However, it is important to remember that while these measures can help manage symptoms, they do not cure the underlying condition. If symptoms persist or worsen despite these measures, it may be necessary to seek further medical advice.