Summer Time and Stubbed Toes

Recently while chatting with relatives at my Aunt’s house, my four year old daughter’s ear splitting screech ripped through the air suddenly disrupting our casual conversation. She had been playing barefoot outside in the front yard quite happily. Until now…stubbed toes are the worst.

Okay, I have a confession. Normally I tend to disregard such noise when it comes from my cute drama queen cutie because, well… She tends to do that a lot…. HOWEVER I could tell that this was a real “ouch! I’m in pain” kind of scream.

Sure enough, when she came barreling in the house at full wailing power, tears streaming down her face I knew that she had indeed hurt something. Turns out she had stubbed the big toe on her right foot. And it looked pretty painful! Now, I am not afraid to say that once I saw the Blood gushing out the top of her toe (she had skinned the top part of her toe quite a bit!) that I let my husband take over the role of doctor and bandage master, disinfector of the wound etc.

So, what can be done if you have stubbed your toe, and why does it seem to hurt so much?

It turns out that toes have a lot of nerve ending in them which means that when you stub your toe (scrape or bump it along anything that can cause pain or minor bleeding) it’s going to hurt. A lot! The good news is that if it is just a stubbed toe, with a little TLC and sometime its fairy easy to take care of.

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine that it is indeed – stubbed toes and not a broken toe. After a careful evaluation of the damage it is always good to ice and rest your injured toe. Keep in mind that if pain persists after about ten minutes you could be dealing with more than just a stubbed toe.

According to Amanda Strouse from symptoms of a broken toe can include:

  • Hear a sound at the time of the break
  • “Pinpoint pain” which is pain at the place of impact at the time of the fracture and possibly for a few hours later. Often this pain goes away after several hours
  • Crooked or abnormal appearance of the toe
  • Bruising and swelling of the toe the next day
  • Bruising, discoloration of a nail
  • Blood or bone protrusions
  • “If you can walk on it, it’s not broken” is NOT true
    Stress fracture (hairline break) cause swelling but sometimes not bruising and the pain could go away when resting, but returns when putting force on the toe

If in doubt it is always good to make an appointment with your doctor so that he/she can take a trained look at the injury to determine the best way to go about treating it.

When it’s a stubbed toe here are some tips from Jenn from the Center of podiatric care and sports medicine:

  • If you are dealing with a minor injury such as a stubbed toe Ice the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time, a few times a day
  • Take anti-inflammatories (IBU, Naproxen, Alieve, etc) for the pain and swelling
  • Wear roomy shoes that don’t squash your toe
  • Clean and bandage any areas where the skin is broken

Of course one of the best ways to deal with toe injuries is to try and prevent them in the first place! It always helps to wear shoes especially outside that will help to protect your toes.

Okay, you caught me. I’m guilty… I know when I was growing up in a tiny town in the foothills of the mountain, summer time meant bare feet time.

I may be “all grown up” now but there’s just something about feeling the cool green grass between your toes… So just like my darling four year old I guess that’s something I’ll have to work on too.

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