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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
big toe spasms upward
by Jane Tzudiker
(San Leandro, CA USA)
My 82 year old mother is having nightly bouts of spasms in her big toes (usually one at a time) in which the toe bends straight up & she can't make it go down. It's extremely painful but her doctor doesn't seem to know the cause or how to prevent it. She has what seems to be a relatively mild case of gout & is careful of her diet; I believe she takes medication at times for that. She also has stenosis & arthritis in her spine for which she's had varying relief with steroid injections. She also takes medications for high blood pressure, thyroid... i think that's it. She seems very healthy overall for her age & tries to stay active when her body cooperates.
I've done internet searches for this type of toe spasm but can't find anything quite like it. Can you offer some insight?
I see I could add a photo & will try to get one from her, if you think that would help.
Thanks very much,
Usually if one toe goes into spasm it is the direct result of overuse of that particular muscle, in this case the muscle that brings the big toe up.
Most muscle spasms are idiopathic meaning they just happen.
Assuming your mother does not have an electrolyte imbalance, she could try drinking some quinine water at night which can be very helpful with muscle spasms.
If that does not work, let her ask her doctor next time she has an appointment.
Marc Mitnick DPM