How to Help Heal a Broken Toe

Drop a can of soup on your foot or whack your toe into a wall—before you know it, you've got a throbbing, swollen, broken toe. Do you have to suffer through a black-and-blue toe, or can you treat it? A broken toe is painful, so don't suffer through it. See your doctor for a diagnosis. Take steps to help your toe heal, while protecting it from further pain.

OUCH! I stubbed my toe. (Image: Theodore Scott/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Get your toe taped. If you see your doctor, he can take an x-ray to be sure the toe is broken. It's difficult to put a cast on a tiny toe, but the broken digit can be taped to the nearby toe to help it heal. Taping a toe should be done by a doctor, but he can show you how to do it, so you can tape it at home.

Step 2

Ice the toe. A broken toe will be swollen and sore, but an icepack can cool down the heat. Apply an icepack to the toe every couple of hours, but for no more than about half an hour at a time. Keep icing it as long as you feel pain, and as long as the ice provides some relief.

Step 3

Take a pain medication. An anti-inflammatory pain reliever can help alleviate pain and swelling from a broken toe. Talk to your doctor about what's safe for you to take, and don't take the medication for too long without your doctor's consent.

Step 4

Prop up your painful toe. To alleviate swelling, treat your foot to some elevation. Prop it up on a pillow, and keep your foot elevated above your heart.

Step 5

Protect your toe. Take it easy on the exercise and activity until your toe heals, which could take from four to six weeks. Wear protective shoes with firm soles, and if your doctor recommends them, use crutches until the toe is healed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape

  • Pain medication

  • Crutches

  • Sturdy shoes


Do your best to protect your feet from injury to prevent a broken toe.


Allow your toe plenty of time to heal, and follow all your doctor's orders.

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