Sprained Big Toe Treatment: How Long Does it Take to Heal?
I am sure you are wondering how long does it take to heal a sprained big toe. Well, here is your answer! Here are some facts about a sprained big toe:
1) A sprained big toe will hurt like hell for at least one week after the injury occurred.
(If not longer! )
2) The pain may be worse when walking or running.
(But don’t worry if you just had a hard fall!)
3) You will probably feel numbness in your big toe for awhile, but eventually the nerve endings will regenerate and the sensation will return.
(And then some!)
4) Most likely, you won’t be able to do any sports whatsoever until the swelling goes down and heals up completely.
(Or even longer. )
5) If you have a broken bone, you might need surgery to fix it.
(But don’t worry if you broke your ankle!)
6) Your big toe may swell up so much that it hurts to put anything in there.
(And if you have a ruptured disc, it could cause permanent damage. )
7) You should wear a walking boot, a cast, or a protective shoe to keep your toe immobilized while it heals.
(This will help prevent other injuries such as a bone infection. )
8) Keep the affected foot elevated above the level of your heart whenever you are sitting down.
(You could elevate your leg on something sturdy as well.)
If you follow these instructions, your toe will heal in about a month and a half to two months. (You may even be able to do light running or exercise after that!)
Sprained Toe Treatment: How to Heal a Sprained Big Toe
Do you want to know how long does it take to heal a sprained big toe?
If so, here are some tips that may help:
1) Ice your toe every couple of hours for the first 48-72 hours after you injure it.
(Put a towel between your toe and the ice to prevent frostbite. )
2) Take pain killers for the first couple days after you sprain it.
(You can take over-the-counter medicine such as Extra Strength Tylenol or Ibuprofen. )
3) Put a plastic bag filled with ice cubes wrapped in a towel around your toe to keep the swelling down.
(Do this for 15-20 minutes at a time every couple of hours. )
4) Use a cold therapy device such as an Ice Shot or an Arctic Eye to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
(These provide therapeutic cooling without the danger of frostbite or water damage. )
5) Add 1/2 tsp.
of Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak your toe for 20-30 minutes. (Soaking will also help prevent the nerves and tendons from tightening up. )
6) When you are able to walk normally again, apply ice for 20 minutes several times each day.
(This will help keep the swelling down. )
7) Take pain relievers if you need to.
(Try Tylenol or Ibuprofen. As always, consult your doctor for further advice. )
8) Have a friend watch your foot to make sure you don’t put any weight on it if you’re still having trouble walking after a couple days.
(Have them help you into a walking boot if necessary.)
9) Use an inflatable donut pillow or exercise ball to sit on while you’re off your feet.
(This will help take the pressure off your big toe and keep the swelling down in the meantime. )
10) See a doctor if you feel like your toe is black and blue all the way around, if your toe is numb, or if your toe has a gap where you can see the tip of your metatarsal (near your nail) when you flex your foot. (These are signs of a more severe injury that may need surgery or pins to repair. Don’t mess around with this! See a doctor immediately!)
How to Heal a Toe Injury: Get the Right Treatment
If you follow these ten steps, you will be able to heal your toe injury and get back to full activity in about two months. (That’s how long it took me!) Of course, it really just depends on the type of injury and the person. (Some people heal faster than others. )
As you probably know though, toe injuries can be quite painful – even after they’ve healed. After my friend had his wedding, he told me that his big toe was still painful a year after his injury! So even though your toenail will eventually grow back and the pain will dissipate, you may not be able to do some of the things you once did for quite some time.
Having said that, it’s still important to get the right treatment. If your injury is really bad and you don’t think these methods will work for you, then by all means seek professional help.
If you do this, then make sure to let your doctor know exactly what happened so they can give you the best advice on how to treat your injury.
Having gone through this painful experience myself, I can tell you that it’s really no fun. (Especially since I’m a fairly active person who likes to stay on the go!) But if you’re patient and follow the steps above, then you should be back to your regular activity level in no time.
Just don’t do what I did — listen to your doctor!
What’s the worst sprain or break you’ve ever had?
Tell us about it below in the comments!
Up Next: How to Prevent Common Minor Injuries During Backpacking Trips
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Sources & references used in this article:
Sprained ankles in ballet dancers by WG Hamilton – Foot & Ankle, 1982 – journals.sagepub.com
The hypnotic belay in alpine mountaineering: The use of self-hypnosis for the resolution of sports injuries and for performance enhancement by PA Morton – American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2003 – Taylor & Francis
Treating Sprained Ankles With Chiropractic Care by Seuss – 1965 – Random House Books for Young …