It’s 2 a.m. and you’re hungry. You drag yourself out of bed to walk barefoot through a dark hallway toward the kitchen. As you make a turn toward the fridge, bam! Your big toe slams into the doorway, leaving you doubled over in pain. You’ve now joined millions of Americans in the unpleasant event of a stubbed toe. The pain is real, but there is relief in sight.
What to Expect From a Stubbed Toe
Enduring a stubbed toe is something that seems to be par for the course of life. Some symptoms you can expect include:
- Pulsating pain
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty wearing a shoe
Many of these symptoms will subside within a day or two and may not require a doctor’s visit. However, some stubbed toe symptoms shouldn’t be ignored and deserve a trip to a foot specialist. If you experience a stubbed toe, ask yourself, “Is my toe…”
- Cold to the touch
- Unusually pale
- Bruising abnormally
- Unable to move
- Showing exposed bone
- Having intense pain when attempting to move it
These may be signs that you should call a foot specialist for extra care.
Caring for a Stubbed Toe From Home
When you first stub your toe, here are a few tips for care you can provide at home. One series of treatments is known as RICE.
Rest – Let your body recover by lying down and keeping your toe stationary.
Ice – Ice can reduce swelling and pain. Simply wrap some ice in a towel or use an ice pack, gently placing it on the toe in a position that does not cause pain.
Compression – You can wrap your toe or entire foot with a bandage to provide added support and pain control.
Elevation – Raise your foot about the level of your heart to control swelling and pain.
Over-the-counter medications can also help control pain and swelling. Choose your favorite brand of aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen. Be sure to follow directions to stay safe and maintain better control of your aching toe.
When It’s Time to See a Foot Specialist
Take it from a professional toe expert—your feet are an important extension of everyday living. Many conditions can challenge feet and toes as you go through life, including plantar fasciitis, arch pain, bunions, and more. Taking good care of your toes and being aware of trouble areas can help you stay one step ahead for healthier feet.
Learn more about our specialized foot services and how we can help you walk through a comfortable, pain-free life.