Tips on Toe Sprains

29 Oct Tips on Toe Sprains

Tips for Toe Sprains

You don’t usually think about your toes until you stub them. If you’re experiencing pain in your toes, you may have a strain or a sprain. Learn more about toe sprains and tips for managing them.

What Is a Toe Sprain?

A toe sprain happens when you tear the ligaments connecting two bones at the base of your toe.

The symptoms of a toe sprain include:

  • Pain in your toes that gets worse when you move them.
  • Pain and swelling that continues to worsen.
  • Bruising.

The symptoms of a sprained toe can be similar to those of a broken toe. If you think your toe might be broken, call a podiatrist immediately.

What Causes a Toe Sprain?

Toe sprains are common among athletes, but they can happen to anyone. You can get a sprain if your toe gets bent too far backward or forward. Some common activities that can lead to toe sprain include:

  • Banging your toe on a hard object or hard surface.
  • Pushing up quickly on your toes as people do when playing soccer, football or basketball.
  • Making quick, sudden turns while on your toes as in ballet or gymnastics.
  • Martial arts that involve kicking.


image of runners stretching her foot


Are Some People Prone to Toe Sprains?

Certain physical and medical conditions can increase your chances of developing a toe strain. These include:

  • Lacking coordination or a good sense of balance.
  • Having poor proprioception.
  • Lack of a stable core.
  • Weak muscles.

Stiff joints or arthritis.

To prevent getting toe and other foot sprains, always use these safety tips:

  • Warm-up your muscles before you exercise or play sports.
  • Develop a strong core.
  • Work on your sense of balance.
  • Wear sturdy, protective shoes when you exercise.

How Do You Treat a Toe Sprain?

The primary treatment for a sprain is the RICE method.

  • Rest your injured foot. Rest is the most important part of healing a sprain.
  • Ice your toe to reduce the swelling.
  • Compress the toe. Use a compression bandage for a few minutes each day.
  • Elevate your toe whenever possible.

Is Turf Toe the Same as a Sprained Toe?

Every football fan and football coach is familiar with turf toe. This injury has sidelined or ended some professional careers.

Turf toe happens when you sprain the joint at the base of your big toe. It can occur when you bend your toes upward too quickly. This tears the ligaments under your toes. Turf toe frequently damages the plantar ligaments.

Turf toe is a severe sprain. It can take several weeks to recover from it.

A toe sprain affects the metatarsophalangeal joint in the big toe. It’s a milder sprain that only affects the toe area. In most cases, people recover from a toe sprain in one to two weeks.


best shoes for zumba dance class Shuman Podiatry and Sports Medicine


When Should You Consult a Foot Care Professional?

In most cases, you can heal a sprained toe at home. You should consider consulting a podiatrist in the following situations:

  • You think you might have a broken toe.
  • The pain and swelling don’t start to subside after a few days.
  • You want to make sure your toe is fully rehabilitated.

A podiatrist can prescribe treatments that help your toe fully rehabilitate, for example:

  • Prescription anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Exercise routine.
  • Custom orthotics.

We’ll Keep You on Your Toes

If you need professional foot care in Northern Virginia, give Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine a call. We have everything you need for healthy feet.

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