Capsulitis occurs when a toe joint ligament in the foot becomes inflamed due to over-stretching. These ligaments connect the toe and metatarsal bones. Capsulitis usually results from extending too much pressure to the forefoot as a result of trauma, overuse, or ill-fitting footwear.

What Are Some Causes of Capsulitis?

  • Sudden trauma or too much stress on the forefoot and toes
  • High heels, ill-fitting footwear, unsupportive footwear, or footwear inappropriate for the activity at hand
  • Activities that involve recurring bending of the toes, such as ladder climbing, gardening, or working on the floor or ground
  • Other medical conditions or deformities that render the foot and toe joints susceptible to inflammation, such as arthritis

What Are Symptoms of Capsulitis?

  • Pain and stiffness in the forefront and ball area of the foot
  • Swelling and tenderness of the toe joints
  • Sharp aches and pains in the toe joints
  • Difficulty walking
  • Since capsulitis often mimics other serious foot conditions, such as Morton’s neuroma, it is best to see a doctor for accurate diagnosis

How Is Capsulitis Treated?

  • Wear properly fitting footwear with low heels and plenty of support, along with cushioned orthotics to alleviate stress to the forefoot area
  • Refrain from the activity that caused the initial inflammation and rest intermittently during activities that involve recurring toe bending
  • Apply ice to the affected area
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications on a temporary basis (ask your doctor first)
  • Receive cortisone injections from your doctor