Running puts considerable strain on your feet. The constant pounding of running, particularly on hard surfaces, often takes its toll on a runner's feet. Bruised and swollen toes are common among runners, but can be prevented by making sure your shoes are properly sized and your socks are adequately padded.
Rest, Ice, Elevation and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
The combination of these four elements will reduce painful swelling and shorten the time necessary for recovery. Stay away from running or other activities that could further aggravate your toe for at least three to four days. During this time, elevate the foot and ice the swollen toe regularly to reduce swelling and promote healing. Small dosages of anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken twice daily until the swelling recedes completely.
Avoid Running Downhill
Downhill running will increase toe impacts with the front of the shoe. If you have a swollen or injured toe, running downhill will aggravate the condition. Running flat or uphill routes will keep your toe from taking an excessive beating. Once the swelling has gone down completely and the toe feels normal to the touch it is safe to resume running with downhill routes.
Ensure Your Shoes are Properly Sized
Shoes that are too big or too small can contribute to toe injuries. Shoes that are too large allow for too much wiggle room inside the shoe. If your foot is slipping too much, it can slip all the way to the front of the shoe and impact the front with your toes, causing bruising. Too tight a shoe can jam your toes against the front of the shoe constantly, causing injury. If you are unsure whether your shoe is the right fit for you, visit your nearest running specialty store for a professional sizing.
Consider Changing Your Socks
Socks can make a big difference when it comes to preventing injury while running. Socks that are insufficiently padded can lead to bruising and swelling of the toes. Socks that are too think can cause your foot to be jammed inside the shoe, leading to the same problems. If you suspect your shoe is slightly too large for your foot, try increasing the thickness of the sock you are wearing, or even consider wearing multiple pairs.