How to Exercise With a Broken Toe

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, broken toes are often the most painful type of foot fracture but are rarely disabling. Toe fractures can occur as the result of a severe stubbing of your toe or a direct blow to your toe -- such as dropping a heavy object. With a broken toe, you should be able to walk and participate in exercise, with a few modifications. Focus on exercises that place little to no stress on your feet.

Step 1

Visit your doctor. If you experience pain and swelling for more than two to three days, make an appointment with your doctor. A physical examination and x-ray can help determine whether you have an injury more serious than a broken toe. Your doctor will likely instruct you on the use of buddy-tape -- taping your injured toe to an adjacent toe to promote healing.

Step 2

Wear a stiff-sole shoe. Wear a sneaker with a stiff sole while exercising with a broken toe. A stiff-sole shoe can help keep your toes inline.

Step 3

Participate in low-impact and non-weight bearing activities. These exercises place minimal stress on your lower extremities. Walk, ride a bike, use an elliptical machine, go for a swim or lift weights -- work solely on your upper body strength until you recover.

Step 4

Gradually return to your normal exercise routine. If you experience pain, discontinue and return to low-impact exercises.

Things You'll Need

  • Buddy tape

  • Sneakers


If you are a diabetic, do not use buddy tape to heal a fractured toe. Talk to your doctor, you may be given a stiff-sole orthopaedic shoe to wear for a few weeks.

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