It is not unusual for an individual to end up with a broken or sprained toe. Daily activities or engaging in sports can cause injuries to the toe. Causes include dropping objects on the foot by accident or striking the toe on hard surfaces. On the other hand, it is not always easy to distinguish between a broken or sprained toe. Regardless of the injury on the toe sustained by the individual, the treatment for a sprain or break is the same. Once an individual suspects a broken or sprain toe, it is best to consult a doctor first.
Minimize the swelling of a broken or sprained toe
By using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), it can help minimize the swelling that occurs during any soft tissue injury or bone damage. During the initial days after the injury was sustained, allowing the affected foot to rest can greatly help out a broken or sprained toe.
The application of ice 2-3 times in a day for 20 minutes and elevating the foot higher than the level of the heart can reduce the swelling. When using ice, make sure that it is placed in a leak-proof container and covered with a cloth before application on the injured area.
Both breaks and sprains on the toe cause a lot of pain that limits the mobility. Immobilizing the affected toe will prevent the foot from sustaining further injury. On the other hand, the individual must move around while the toe stays immobilized. Always remember that toes do not require casts.
The easiest way to immobilize a toe is to tape it to the unaffected toe next to it. When wrapping the injured toe to immobilize it, make sure that it will not disrupt the circulation of blood. Just make sure that the broken or sprained toe stays pink in color. You can place gauze between the two toes as a cushion as well as help absorb moisture. If you want to learn how to immobilize a particular body part, click here.
Reducing the pain
In most cases of either a broken or sprained toe, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are commonly used in order to manage the pain during the initial 1-2 days after the injury. It is important to note that NSAIDs can cause adverse effects in the body such as stomach upset, thus they must be taken with food to minimize any discomfort.
How to prevent further damage to the broken or sprained toe
The individual must wear shoes that limit the movement of the toe. This can help prevent further damage since it allows the bone to heal. Shoes that limit toe movement can also reduce the swelling as well as preventing any discomfort.
It is also recommended to look for supportive shoes that are built with a stiff sole that will not allow the toe to bend while walking. The doctor can also suggest a special type of shoes that is designed with a rigid sole for added protection while it heals.