Watch Your Toes!

Your toes, as small as they are compared to your body, actually have a very important role.  They help keep your body balanced, assist in supporting your weight, and allow you to walk, run, and be upright while mobile.  When we get pain in our feet, we are probably affected by heel pain, arch pain or pain in the ball of your foot.  It’s not as often that we feel pain in our toes, unless we break one but toe injuries are frequent and can take a while to heal. Here are a few very common toe injuries and reasons for injuries to watch out for.

  1. Stress Fracture – Walking or running a lot especially without the proper shoes can cause your toes to get stress fractures. The most common way to treat a stress fracture is to take the stress out of the equation which means you will need to rest and keep your weight off of the affected foot.
  2. Tripping – It’s common to find toe injuries when tripping over an object because your toe is usually what you hit first (and hardest) when you trip. It’s also likely that if you trip, your toes will get caught at an awkward ankle when you fall. Even the slightest weight put on your feet at an abnormal angle is enough to break your toe(s.)
  3. Soccer/Kicking Injuries – For obvious reasons, soccer and any other sport that involves kicking is a very common way to injure your toes. Usually when you’re kicking, you should be using the inside of your foot or the top of your foot. Direct impact at the front of your toes is not recommended because it’s a weak spot and can easily get injured.
  4. Heavy Objects – Dropping anything on your foot, especially from standing height is going to hurt. One of the worst offenders are gym barbells. Weights can be heavy enough to literally crush your toes.  Be careful when lifting heavy objects and put them down slowly to prevent your toes from getting caught unexpectedly.
  5. Swinging Objects – Getting your toe hit by a heavy door can be extremely painful.  Getting it stuck under a heavy door is also pretty terrible. Watch out for revolving doors and heavy fire escape doors that swing quickly. Always leave a space in front of you that allows you to stop the door with your hands if the door opens both ways.

Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients for over eighteen years. If you have any foot, ankle or toe injuries, call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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