With a jammed toe, it is difficult to move around. The toe is swollen, painful and has restricted mobility. Usually the toe gets jammed or the movement is restricted as a result from a minor sprain. Often the sprain occurs unknowingly when the toe collides against a hard object while walking barefoot. It can also result while playing certain sport activities where you land up in awkward position after jumping, or your foot may stub against the shoes of other person.
A jammed toe is common among people playing soccer, high jump, long jump etc. Toe sprain can also result while dancing, especially belle dancers. It is easy to identify and recognize swelling and restricted movement after an injury to the toe; however in some cases the toe is swollen, painful as a result of certain diseases.
Diseases such as arthritis and gout can affect your toe movement.In majority of cases a jammed toe due to an impact heals with home care. However, it is wise to consult a physician to ensure that the toe is not fractured or dislocated.
Symptoms Of Jammed Toe
The symptoms of jammed toe resulting after an injury or due to arthritis are obvious. The toe gets jammed when the ligament under the toe is damaged. They are as follows:
- Pain: There is excruciating pain after the toe is sprained. The toe is tender to touch. Pain exacerbates with movement when the ligament is partially torn, but with micro tear the pain is not constant. It occurs only when the toe is pressed upon.
- Swelling: Soon the toe becomes swollen. It enlarges in size and the person is unable to wear his shoes in some cases.
- Bruising: The swollen toe is discolored and appears blue due to accumulation of blood. The tiny blood vessels are damaged and blood seeps out from them.
- Limited movement: Due to pain and swelling the toe movement is restricted. If there is a fracture or dislocation of the tiny toe bone, the affected toe may appear slightly out of its place.
- In cases of diseases such as arthritis and gout, there may be associated pain in other joints. Pain and swelling is sudden, without any history of trauma.
Home Remedies To Heal A Jammed Toe
A jammed toe can be treated easily at home. It may take few days or weeks to alleviate the symptoms. This depends on the severity of torn ligament.
- Ensure that the toe is in complete alignment. If the toe is out of alignment it may indicate fracture or dislocation. In such case it is necessary to consult a physician. He may recommend for an X-ray to rule out fracture.
- The primary treatment for sprained and jammed toe is rest, ice, compression and elevation. Rest is necessary for the damaged tissue to heal faster. Avoid unnecessary toe movements for first few days. You can use a splint to immobilize the toe.
- Apply ice packs to reduce swelling. Continue cold compresses for 10 to 15 minutes every hour for first five to six hours. Then do it at an interval of every 6 hours for one or two days. Ice also reduces pain as it numbs the nerves.
- Compression is difficult for the four toes leaving aside the great toe.
- Keep the injured foot elevated above the heart level intermittently for one or two days. The aim is to reduce swelling as the blood flow to the damaged toe will be reduced.
- Turmeric has natural anti inflammatory properties. A pinch of turmeric powder mixed with one teaspoon of honey two times in a day for few days will reduce swelling and pain.
Recovery Time For Jammed Toe
The recovery time for jammed toe may depend on the severity of injury and damage to the ligaments. If the injury is minor, then it may take few days to heal. However, if the ligament damage is extensive the healing period may prolong for weeks and months.
During recovery period, precaution should be taken to prevent further injury to the toe.
Once the pain and inflammation is reduced, the physician may recommend physiotherapy exercise to strengthen the toe and bring back its normal flexibility. The common exercise is to flex and stretch the toes.