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Broken Toes and Running

My little toe on my left foot is broken – I’m 99.9% sure of it. It is super swollen and it has been that way for well over a month. I’ve been taping it to my other toe but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Sometimes it hurts when I wear shoes but luckily, it never bothers me when I run. There are two reasons I haven’t gone to see a doctor about it. First, there really isn’t much you can do for a broken toe and second, I don’t want him to say the dreaded words, stop running. Especially since my running is going so well. So my question is, can I still run with a broken toe?

Well according to Jackie Carmichael from Livestrong, it’s not such a good idea:

Your feet hit the ground approximately 800 times per mile, according to Cool Running. This type of beating will put a lot of stress on a fractured toe. Since the initial treatment for a fractured toe is rest and elevation, resuming a running regimen with a fracture is not advisable. If your fracture has healed and you have allowed the appropriate amount of time for recovery — this will vary depending on the injury — resuming running is probably fine.

However, on the plus side

…a minor fracture in a small toe may not require medical treatment or set you back from your daily routine for any length of time.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that bad.

I broke my big toe once and couldn’t bend it for a year. Eventually I went to see the doctor about it and his response was, you don’t really need to bend your big toe anyway. I was pretty livid after that statement and that’s why I’m hesitant to go see a doctor now. I think I’ll go ice for now and try and give it a rest from the pointy shoes.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Please don’t judge my feet. I don’t have time to make them look pretty for the pic.


My swollen left toe.

My swollen left toe.

Running Update: Tonight I did a very easy 4 miles with the run club girls. It was probably exactly what my body needed after a fartlek workout and my longer hilly run yesterday. Felt great the entire time and I’m so happy to be training out on the hills. I can really tell I’m improving. Stats are here.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. OUCH! I fractured the little toe on my left foot a decade ago when someone opened a car door and clipped my on my bicycle. It was the most frustrating and painful injury ever. It took a long time to heal and I couldn’t handle anyone touching it for about a year (though I was walking on it again after about 4 weeks on crutches).

    May 10, 2013

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