A sprained or broken toe is an injury that can easily sideline an athlete or postpone an exerciser’s commitment to a regular workout routine. The pain can radiate from that one single toe through the entire foot, and even spread up into your leg if the sprain or break is severe enough.
Because you don’t want a toe getting in the way of your workouts or fitness goals, it is important to grant this injury the attention and TLC it deserves to heal. Unfortunately, it’s also an injury that often just needs time and proper care to get back to normal; doctors will usually just send you home with instructions to rest and commit to the subsequent care plan; here’s how to treat a sprained toe.
Ice your injury.
As soon as you’ve injured your toe, start a routine of applying ice. For the best treatment, minimize swelling and discomfort by icing the toe at least 4 times throughout the day, for increments of 15 minutes.
Put your feet up.
Elevating your foot will immediately relieve some of the more immediate pain, and it will also help to stop the swelling. If you can’t lie out flat with your toe level with your body, find a chair to prop your foot up on.
Take ibuprofen to reduce swelling.
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that will help reduce swelling and pain of your sprained toe. Ask your doctor about what dosage of Ibuprofen is most appropriate for you.
Provide your toe with a little extra support.
One way to support a broken toe is to tape it to the one next to it; this way, the “good” toe can serve as a sort of built-in splint. You can also wear stiff soled shoes that will provide the injury a little extra cushioning and a little less likelihood of being left in a vulnerable position while it’s recovering.
There are also aircasts that serve as a great aid if you need to be active while you are healing.
Always talk to your doctor! And definitely see your doctor if your injury stays swollen and sore for more than 2 weeks.
A sprained or broken toe can require medical attention if it is not healing on its own; there may be a ligament that is severely torn or a bone fragment that is hindering the healing process. If your at home treatment doesn't provide you any relief after a few weeks, see your doctor to ensure it's just a strain and nothing more.