By Sarah Howes
How to Cure a Sprained Toe
A sprained toe is a common occurrence when participating in physical activity and is caused by a tear in the ligaments that connect to the toe. Symptoms of a sprained toe include pain, swelling, stiffness and bruising.
Toe sprains can occur from jamming your foot when coming to a sudden stop or landing in an awkward position causing your toes to jam in the end of your shoes. The most common occurrences are from sporting activities including walking, running, dancing and even stubbing your toe in the dark.
A doctor will be able to assess the severity of the damage whether it is a micro-tear or a more severe tearing of the ligament tissue. An x-ray will be able to determine if the toe is fractured.
Treatment for a Sprained Toe
Although a sprained toe will heal on their own over time, it is essential for a faster recovery to apply the following treatment to the sprained toe:
- Ice to the affect toe using an ice pack or frozen vegetable bag wrapped in a towel. Apply the towel directly to the toe for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin as this will cause more harm.
- Compression – If your big toe has been sprained then you will be able to use a compression bandage and wrap the toe to reduce the swelling in your toe. Make sure you do not wrap the bandage too tight as you will cut off the circulation of blood flow to the toe.
- Elevate the affected toe above you heart by lying down and propping your foot up with pillows. This will help to reduce the swelling in the sprained toe.
Be sure to rest your affected toe during the first few days of the injury as this will help you to recover faster. In most cases a minor toe sprain can heal within 2-6 weeks with the appropriate treatment.
If you have to move around while still injured then try taping the affected toe to the uninjured toe next to it. Wrap gauze tape or a compression bandage around the two toes to help immobilize the injured toe.
Sprained Toe Medication and Prevention
Over the counter medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help to reduce the inflammation and pain. It is always recomneded to seek the advice of your doctor or qualified medical specialist to ensure proper treatment and to prevent long term complications with toe joints.
Prevention is always the key to avoiding future problems with your toes however it is not always possible to prevent injury to your toes. You can however reduce injuries by wearing protective shoes whether you are playing sports or working in the field. Take care of your body and toes.