OA big toe

I have OA in big toe joint. Not overweight, eat healthily and like to be active. Consultant advised fusion of big toe joint, am against this as worried will only move the problem elsewhere in foot with change of gait. GP prescribed me Naproxen 500mg to take on an as and when basis.This has worked well for two and half years. I also have regular acupuncture. Lately though my foot hurts constantly I need the Naproxen every day to make the pain bearable. Even then it's not 100%, I walk slowly because not sure when pain is coming. I do aqua aerobics fine. How can I improve matters? Is it OK to take Naproxen 500mg every day on a long term basis. Am worried I'm setting myself up for other health problems when apart from the OA I am perfectly healthy.


  • jeddison1985
    jeddison1985 Member Posts: 211

    Hi @Active8 firstly let me welcome you to the forum I hope you find the information and support you are after from our wonderful community.

    I can see from your post that you have Osteoarthritis in your big toe and that you have had some success with Naproxen but lately it has not been working as it was. You are after help with the pain so you are not reliant on the painkillers.

    The site is full of information and I wanted to signpost you to some information that could help, linked to as a starter general information on managing foot OA, and then managing foot pain.

    Please feel free to search the forum for others with similar experiences and I am sure that some of our community will be able to help offer some useful suggestions.

    Take care and I hope you get some relief and answers soon.



  • Hi @Active8  

    Thank you for posting on the forum. I’m sorry to hear about the OA in your big toe joint, do talk to your GP about taking Naproxen long term and see what is advised. I can see that Joe has sent you some links which I hope will be helpful for you. You will find information about Naproxen and NSAIDs within the link to ‘OA of the foot an ankle’.

     It’s good to hear that you do aqua aerobics, as exercise is important. I’m wondering if you’ve seen a physiotherapist, if not you could speak to your GP about a referral. There is a cream called Capsaicin, this is a drug-free, effective, and very well-tolerated painkiller which is available on prescription from your GP and is very effective for OA for various joints. It works mainly by reducing a pain transmitter in the nerves.  It doesn’t provide instant relief though – it builds up in the system and people usually notice a difference within a week or so of starting it. Lastly, you could also ask about a steroid injection.

    You are welcome to call us on our helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am-6pm) here we can take our time to talk things through informally and in confidence, sometimes a listening ear can be helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team

  • Active8
    Active8 Member Posts: 4

    Dear Linda, thank you very much for this advice. I've contacted my GP and they very kindly gave me a prescription for Capcaisin which has been really helpful. I've used it for almost two weeks and find it has greatly improved my symptoms. It's such a relief to be able to walk and exercise normally without worrying about pain, it hasn't gone away but I'd say it's about 75% better.