A sprained big toe is due to partial tears to the ligaments. It is important to note that these ligaments link one bone to the next. An individual can end up with a sprained big toe by stubbing it on hard objects or even by stepping and stopping abruptly which forces the toe into the end of the shoe.
The injury can be debilitating and prevents the individual from walking without using crutches or walking boot. Even though a sprained big toe recuperates over time, several home measures can be applied.
Measures to manage a sprained big toe
- Instruct the individual to avoid using the affected foot as much as possible. A walking aid must be used if possible to lighten the load placed on the sprained big toe.
- A compression bandage can be used around the big toe to reduce the swelling. Wrap the bandage in a secure manner so that pressure is applied to keep swelling at a minimum.
- Raise the injured foot above the level of the heart if possible during the initial 48 hours. This allows the drainage of fluid from the toe to lessen the swelling.
- Provide medications to lessen the pain and inflammation in the sprained big toe. Pain medications that are commonly used include naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen.
In case a sprained big toe does not seem to heal or the symptoms worsen, it might be an indication of a serious injury such as a fracture. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted for further assessment.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on a sprained big toe is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage the injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.