You may be experiencing big toe pain after running, bruised toes after several long-distance jogs or foot pain after a long walk. Whether you have a subungual hematoma or turf toe, there are certain steps you can take to avoid injured toes after physical activity.
Sore Toes After Running
There are a number of reasons why your toes may be sore. MedlinePlus lists corns and bunions, ingrown toenails and fractures as just a few of these reasons. Another reason your toes may be sore: running. That's right, running can cause certain toe injuries, such as:
- Subungual hematoma: If you've ever had what looks like a black toenail, you've probably had a subungual hematoma, a condition that occurs when blood collects underneath the nail, says the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It can be caused by jamming your toe or wearing tight fitting shoes. The nail may be sore and will often change color from red to purple.
- Turf toe: According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, turf toe is a sprain of the big toe joint that can occur during sports activities, such as running. It's a result of too much upward bending of the big toe joint and can be caused by repeatedly jamming or pushing the toes while running. Those wearing less supportive shoes are at a higher risk for turf toe. Indications of the condition include swelling, pain and limited joint movement. Visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- Fracture: Finally, in extreme cases, your sore toe may be a result of a fracture. A cracked or fractured bone can occur over time as a consequence of doing high-impact sports, such as long distance running. The National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom notes that signs of a fracture include severe pain and bruising. It's recommended that you stop all physical activity and do not put weight on your foot until visiting a doctor.
Read more: Big Toe Joint Pain After Running
Swollen Feet With Fluid Intake
There's no doubt that hydrating while running is fundamental. Though despite its benefits, drinking a high volume of water, according to a study published in the October 2015 issue of the International Journal of General Medicine, can lead to swelling of the feet. This can cause the feet to become overall more vulnerable and prone to injury.
As important as fluid intake is during physical activity, excessive intake can swell the lower limbs. Therefore, the study's researchers recommend keeping track of your fluid consumption and restricting fluid intake when necessary.
Read more: How to Reduce Swollen Legs & Feet
Preventing and Treating Sore Toes
One way to prevent sore toes after running is to make sure you're wearing shoes that fit properly. According to MedlinePlus, wearing shoes that are either too loose or too tight can cause toe problems.
You can further prevent sore or bruised toes by using shoe inserts, special shoes, padding or taping. Should your runner's toe problems worsen or continue to cause discomfort, there are a few treatment options, including medicine, rest and in more extreme cases, surgery. For turf toe, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends ice, compression and elevation.
If you have a toe fracture, then NHS advises you cease physical activity altogether and make sure you're not putting any weight on your toes.
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Subungual Hematoma"
- International Journal of General Medicine: "Feet Swelling in a Multistage Ultraendurance Triathlete: a Case Study"
- MedlinePlus: "Toe Injuries and Disorders"
- American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: "Foot Health Facts: Turf Toe"
- National Health Service: "Broken Toe"