Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

How to Treat Toe Pain From Rock Climbing

October 26, 2020

Although we tend to think of rock climbing as being most stressful on the upper body, toe pain is surprisingly common in climbers. This sport puts a lot of stress through the toes, from jamming our feet into small shoes to edging on tiny footholds.

The most common location of toe pain is at the metatarsophalangeal joint which is where the big toe meets the bones of the foot. It is also common to have pain at the joint within the big toe (the 1st interphalangeal joint). There are some very effective treatment strategies to help prevent or treat toe pain from climbing that you can do on your own at home.


The key to treating or preventing toe pain while climbing is to:
1. Improved first toe and metatarsophalangeal joint mobility
2. Strengthen the stabilizer muscles of the first toe
3. Strengthen the muscles of the foot medial longitudinal arch

Check out this video that shoes a progression of several self-treatments to reduce toe pain while climbing.

Try these exercises to help with your toe pain while climbing and if you’re continuing to have pain then schedule an appointment with one of the orthopedic experts at Mend.