Can You Run With a Broken Toe? – Everything You Should Know
Your toes play a crucial role when it comes to movement. This is especially crucial to runners as it helps stabilize, control, cushion and propel the body forward. But what happens when you break your toe? Can you run with a broken toe?
In this article, we discuss what a broken toe is and if you can exercise with a broken toe or not. We also discuss how to know whether your toe is bruised or broken.
What Is A Broken Toe?
A broken toe is when one of the bones in your toe breaks or cracks. This is usually caused by an injury (such as running) or from stubbing your toe, dropping an object on your foot, or even kicking a football. Stubbing your toe and sports that require kicking (football) is some of the most common ways to break your toe. If you think you may have a broken toe, some of the symptoms you may experience are
– Swelling of the toe and surrounding areas
– Pain (with and without shoes on)
– Stiffness of the toe joints and surrounding areas
If you have a broken toe it should be monitored daily. It is also important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing severe symptoms. This is especially important when the pain worsens and can’t be relieved with medication.
How Do I Know if My Toe is Broken or Just Bruised?
Just because your toe is in a lot of pain from a bad whack does not necessarily mean you have a toe fracture. In some cases, what may feel like a broken toe turns out to be a sprain instead, and it will tend to improve within a few days.
Even though you might be in a lot of pain it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a broken toe. In some cases, the toe may be just sprained and will naturally heal in a few days.
However, it is important to be cautious if your toes have experienced any painful trauma, such as dropping something heavy on the foot.
To find out if your toe is broken or just bruised, some of these signs can help you distinguish between the two.
– Pain continues to be extreme and continues for days
– The toe is swollen and stiff
– The toe feels warmer than the other toes
– It is challenging to walk on the toe
– There is a variation of skin color around the painful area.
– The toe is bent or deformed
– Excruciating pain when putting on shoes.
If you experience any of the above, it is important to stop an exercise and speak to a doctor. An x-ray will help confirm whether the toe is just bruised or broken.
Can You Exercise With A Broken Toe?
It is a popular opinion that a broken toe can be treated and you should just bear through the pain until it heals. This is completely wrong and any exercise that places stress on or around the toe should be prevented until you get the all-clear from a doctor. This also includes the little (pinky) toe even though you may not experience the same pain as other toes.
That means any exercises like running, football, tennis, and swimming shouldn’t be attempted with a broken toe. However, cycling can help keep your fitness level up while you are recovering. Just be careful that the intensity you ride at doesn’t place excess stress on the toes.
If you are an avid cyclist as well as a runner, moving your cleat position to a mid-foot setup can help shift some of the pressure away from the toes.
Luckily if you are not into cycling there are other exercises you can do to keep your fitness level up. This could include core and upper body strength training. Light rowing can also help keep your cardiovascular fitness up too.
So to answer the question, can you exercise with a broken toe? Absolutely, as long as it doesn’t place stress on the fractured toe.
Can You Run With a Broken Toe? – What Should You Know?
If you have symptoms or have been diagnosed with a broken toe, you may be wondering if you can run with a broken toe? The short answer is NO.
Even though runners are used to running with niggles and aches and pains, running with a broken toe is not recommended. Doing so can delay your recovery and put you out for longer periods. Sometimes, this can be months if the toe is not looked after correctly during the recovery phase.
So stop any running training until you get the ok from your doctor. During this time replace any running you have been doing with an alternative exercise that doesn’t place stress on the toes.
How Long Does a Broken Toe Take to Heal?
If you are wondering how long does a broken toe take to heal, it can vary between people. Generally speaking if the recovery is done correctly and limited stress has been placed on the toe, you can expect full rcovery in 4-6 weeks.
However, if you have been continuing to exercise, run or spend lots of time walking, you may experience a longer recovery time of up to 12 weeks or more.
Taping the toe and wearing special shoes can help speed up the process. However, don’t expect to be back running within 4 weeks.
What Are The Best Running Shoes for a Broken Toe?
Even though we answered the question; Can you run with a broken toe. And the answer was no. The right running shoe may help relieve pressure and pain when walking. So, What are the best running shoes for a broken toe?
Generally speaking the best shoes are running shoes that have a wide toe box. This can include brands like Hoka One One and some wider New Balance models. The wider toe box will help the toes spread out and give you adequate room to tape the toe. While this isn’t recommended to help get you running again, it will help relieve some pain with day to day walking.