| | Re: Can't wear high heels - toe pain!
It sounds like you have what I have... I had/have lots of pain in the big toe joints of both feet for about 12 years now. Mine was disgnosed as 'Hallux Rigidus' which is a form of osteo-arthritis of the big toe joint. I haven't worn heels in about 12 years and for the past few years I have only been able to wear Birkenstocks. I have actually just scheduled surgery for 2/28 for a fusion of that joint. There are lots of people on this board that have had this surgery done -- be sure to check the posts.
I'm not sure if this is what you have but when I first noticed pain I was at work wearing 1 1/2" heels (that the highest I ever wore) and suddenly got a STABBING pain in that joint. I could barely walk home and was so bad that I would sit at work with ice packs on my feet! (Yes, mine was in both feet.) Needless to say, I could no longer wear heels. I limped around for a LONG time and tried every brand of flat shoe I could and Birks are the only ones that I could wear. I figured out that I needed lots of support in the ankle/arch so I didn't pronate and this in turn seemed to stabilize my big toe joint which helped to lessen the pain.
The reason I didn't do the fusion right away: when I was diagnosed my doc said that I would eventually have to have it done but said she didn't do it on young people -- I was about 32 then. This doesn't make sense to me now -- I has in pain for all those years and had to limit activities because of the pain... so how does that help me? Is fusion would have helped to restore me to some level of activity why not just do it? (Anyone have any thoughts on this?) Oh, there are other types of surgery but my doc said they didn't work well... again, this was 12 years ago so maybe there is something else that would help you. Right now, for me fusion is the only option...
Anyway, I hope this helps. Remember, I'm not a doc or anything and would suggest going to see one about this. Try to find shoes that are comfortable and supportive until you can figure it out and stay away from heels! (Get a doctor's note for your boss if you have to!)
Take care and be kind to your tootsies! I hope you're pain free soon!