How Long Does Runner’s Toe Take To Heal?
Runner’s toe, also known as subungual hematoma, is a common injury that occurs when the toes repeatedly hit the front of the shoe during activities like running or hiking. This can cause blood to accumulate under the toenail, resulting in pain and discoloration. If you’re an avid runner or engage in other high-impact activities, you may be wondering how long it takes for runner’s toe to heal. In this article, we’ll explore the healing process and provide answers to common questions about this condition.
1. Healing Time: The amount of time it takes for runner’s toe to heal can vary depending on several factors, such as the severity of the injury and individual healing capabilities. In most cases, it takes about two to four weeks for the blood under the nail to be reabsorbed and the pain to subside. However, complete nail regrowth can take anywhere from six to twelve months.
2. Pain Management: Runner’s toe can be quite painful, especially in the initial stages. To manage the pain, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be taken. Applying ice to the affected toe can also help reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing temporary relief.
3. Rest and Elevation: Resting the injured toe and elevating it above heart level can aid in the healing process. Keeping the toe elevated helps reduce swelling and promotes blood flow to the area, facilitating faster healing.
4. Proper Footwear: Wearing proper footwear is crucial for preventing runner’s toe and aiding in the healing process. Shoes with a wide toe box, adequate cushioning, and good support can help reduce the impact on your toes while engaging in physical activities.
5. Prevention: Taking preventive measures is essential to avoid runner’s toe altogether. Trimming your toenails regularly, ensuring proper shoe fit, and wearing moisture-wicking socks can help minimize the risk of developing this condition.
Common Questions About Runner’s Toe:
1. Can I continue running with runner’s toe?
It is generally recommended to take a break from running or any high-impact activities until the pain subsides and the injury starts to heal.
2. Should I drain the blood myself?
It is not recommended to drain the blood yourself, as it can lead to infection. If the pain is severe or the blood accumulation is causing extreme discomfort, it is best to seek medical attention.
3. Can I prevent runner’s toe with toenail polish?
While toenail polish can help protect the nail, it doesn’t provide cushioning or prevent the repetitive trauma that causes runner’s toe. Proper footwear and nail care are more effective preventive measures.
4. How can I prevent infection?
Keeping the affected toe clean and dry is essential to prevent infection. If you notice signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, or pus, it is important to seek medical attention.
5. Can I continue running after the blood is reabsorbed?
Once the blood is reabsorbed, you can gradually start getting back into running. However, it is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, as the toe may still be sensitive.
6. Will the nail fall off?
In some cases, the nail may fall off due to the trauma. However, it will eventually grow back.