When you stub your toe, it can be difficult to tell whether it is sprained or broken. The symptoms of a sprained toe and a broken toe are quite similar, and they can be easily confused.
Knowing which type of injury you have can help you treat it appropriately and speed up the healing process. Let’s take a look at the difference between a sprained toe and a broken toe, as well as what to do if you think you may have one or the other.
What are the symptoms of a sprained toe?
A sprained toe is typically caused by playing sports or walking into something with enough force to twist or roll your foot. Common signs of a sprained toe include:
- tenderness in the area.
- You may also experience difficulty walking due to stiffness or instability in the joint.
- will usually appear red and swollen around the joint that is affected.
- In extreme cases, there may be an audible popping sound when you move your foot in certain directions.
What are the symptoms of a broken toe?
In comparison to a sprain, a broken toe has more severe symptoms that are often easier to detect.
- In addition to pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the site of impact.
- There may also be visible changes in shape, such as deformity or misalignment in the bone structure of your toes.
- When a fractured bone is touched, it usually causes sharp stabbing pains.
- It will be difficult to walk without assistance.
If you suspect that your toe is broken, seek medical attention immediately for further diagnosis and treatment options.
How Long Do Sprains and Fractures Take to Heal?
Broken toes typically take between 6 and 8 weeks to heal completely, depending on how severe the fracture is, whereas sprains tend to heal within 2-4 weeks with rest and ice therapy.
However, recovery time largely depends on how severe your injury is and how quickly you respond to treatment options such as physiotherapy exercises, anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor, or natural ones you choose without a prescription.
What can I do to help my sprained or broken toe heal?
- Resting your foot by avoiding activities such as running or jumping is essential for allowing your injury time to heal properly without further damage being done.
- Icing regularly throughout the day can help reduce inflammation, while elevating your foot slightly above heart level can help relieve discomfort caused by swelling in the area too.
These little ice packs are great for icing injured toes:
Finger and Toe Cold Gel Ice Packs
Good things to know about these handy toe and finger ice packs:
- Reusable Cryotherapy Compression Sleeve for Injuries
- Arthritis, Tendonitis, Gout, or Sprains
- Latex Free
- Highly rated on Amazon
3. Physiotherapy exercises, if necessary, can help improve strength in weakened muscles, while wearing supportive footwear can help reduce strain placed on injured joints during everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs!
What are some good support products to help my broken or sprained toe heal?
1. ZenToes Broken Toe Wraps, Cushioned Bandages Hammer Toe Separator Splints
Good things to know about these toe splints to help heal and support a sprained or broken toe:
- Includes 4 cushioned fabric toe wraps to protect and promote healing in broken toes and separate hammer toes.
- Non-slip fabric is easy to secure, clean, and reuse
- Superior to athletic tape.
- For use on small fractures that do not involve the big toe or the pinky toe.
- Broken toe treatment: Broken toes are painful, but the treatment process of buddy taping your toes together can add extra pain and discomfort to an already painful healing process. This cushioned fabric bandage takes some of the pain out of the 4 – 6 week broken toe healing process by acting as a removable, washable brace or splint.
- Hammer toe treatment: When working out, the constant bend in the toe can lead to calluses, sores and blisters when you’re working out and can make it hard for you to wear your favorite shoes. Surgery can cause extreme pain and force you to stay off your feet for extended periods of time.
- With the ZenToes Toe Wraps, you can address the problem of hammer toes without painful, invasive interventions and take a more holistic, gentle approach to pain relief and foot care.
- Pack of 4
- Protection: Wrap is a thin, flexible sheet that wraps around a hammer toe or broken toe and the toe beside it.
- Once you fasten the adhesive strip, the wrap stays in place and acts as a toe straightener splint, flattening your toe and correcting its alignment.
- Unlike a rigid splint, this wrap toe straighteners allow you to still move with ease.
- Alleviates pain: Lightly padded, the ZenToes Toe Wrap provides protection for broken or hammer toes. The cushioning softness along the top reduces rubbing to alleviate pain and discomfort and allows blisters and sores to gradually heal.
- Ultra thin design and beige tone makes it virtually invisible under your socks and able to be worn with all of the shoes in your closet.
- Highly rated on Amazon
For more all-encompassing protection while you heal your toe from a break or sprain, this type of brace will protect better.
2. BraceAbility Closed Toe Medical Walking Shoe
Good things to know about this foot protector to help heal and support a sprained or broken toe:
- SIZING Upon ordering, refer to the second image (our size chart) to select your size. Available in sizes Small through XL.
- Protect, support, and treat the toes, foot, ankle or leg from a wide variety of injuries and post-op recovery, keeping a cast or bandages dry and dirt-free.
- Closed toe design
- Features a large, closed square toe box, allowing extra room for swelling, bandages, sock, casting, and more.
- Protect your foot from further injury, infection, or pain.
- Non-skid tread provides extra stability while walking following surgery.
- The rigid rocker sole supports the arch and promotes a natural gait while walking to help reduce plantar pressure and forefoot or heel pain.
- Use on the left or right foot
- The lightweight surgical walking boot can be used by men or women on either the right or left foot.
- Durable, adjustable straps provide a safe and secure fit, accommodating swelling and dressing.
- Highly rated on Amazon
Concluding thoughts on a sprained toe vs broken toe
In conclusion, understanding how to recognize both types of injuries, sprains vs fracture, can help ensure that they are treated appropriately so that they heal correctly without any lasting damage.
While both types of injuries require rest and careful management from yourself and healthcare professionals alike; timely diagnosis from medical professionals remains key when dealing with serious fractures or sprains.
We hope you toe feels better soon!
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