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Badly hurting toe (Read 650 times)

    Hi all,

     

    I'm now just under three weeks away from the half marathon I've been training towards for the past six months.  I've got one more week of "proper" training to go before starting to taper off and rest up for the half.  The problem is that on last Friday's long run (18km) I badly bruised one of my big toenails.  I ran on it the next day, and it was sore, but not terrible.  Then I took Sunday off, and this morning I did an interval session.  It didn't hurt too badly while I was running, but when I stopped to walk afterwards, it started absolutely killing me.  It's just been getting worse and worse throughout the day.  I haven't been able to put shoes back on since the run this morning without extreme pain, and by this afternoon I couldn't even walk properly barefoot.  It's throbbing like crazy.  I've tried soaking it in Epsom salts, and I actually tried to drain it by poking through the nail with a heated paperclip (a google solution which I was desperate enough to try).  I couldn't actually get through the nail with the paperclip though, so that didn't work.  I'm going to call around and try to get an appointment with a podiatrist in the morning if it's still this bad, but I thought I'd also ask for advice here.  I desperately want to keep up with my training, but at this stage, what I want most is for it to stop throbbing!  I think my shoes might be too tight, and I was thinking of getting new ones (although I'd be nervous about breaking in new shoes this close to the half).  That's a longer term thing though.  Right now, I just need to try and get it to stop hurting!  I'm taking pain meds, but not sure I'm going to get any sleep tonight!  Has anyone been through this?  How long did it take yours to get better?  Thanks for your help!

     

    Samantha

    Jeffrey


      I had a blister form underneath my big toe nail last year. I slowly inserted a needle underneath the nail to poke the blister and drained the fluid by pressing down on the surface of the toe nail. After draining, I soaked toe in warm salt bath. The blister was large at about the size of the nail itself and filling frequently so had to repeat draining process numerous times over 2-3 days. As soon as you relieve the pressure it will feel like new again. Smile

        Thanks for the response. I ended up going to the doctor yesterday morning, who, ironically, got out a lighter and a paper clip and did the exact same thing I tried to do myself at home. It feels heaps better now that it's drained though, and I was able to run this morning. Smile

          ...last Friday's long run (18km) I badly bruised one of my big toenails...I've tried soaking it in Epsom salts, and I actually tried to drain it by poking through the nail...

          At first I wasn't sure what you were talking about...  I thought you had "bruised" your big toe (but obviously you did state it was "toenail"...) but obviously you actually got a blister, whether it's a clear liquid or blood, right underneath your toe nail; is that it???  I'm a drainer--I pop my blisters; I know some suggest not to but either way; not that big of a deal, I pop.  Even the one underneath the nail.  Depending on the degree of under-toenail-blister, it may leave you with the nail completely hanging on the edge of the skin.  It'll have to grow out of it and it'll take time unless you decide to trim the hanging toenail which requires some skill and could be quite painful because the under-the-toenail part will be left exposed after you remove it.  I've had that before and what worked with me is to secure the hanging toenail by carefully wrapping it with thin elastic bandage.  If you don't do that, every time your hanging toenail touches anything, including the edge of your running shoes, you will jump and, eventually, the hanging toenail will be ripped off by pushing and twisting.  Yeah, it's not pretty.  

           

          It seems that you are quite determined to run the half (was it?) in a few weeks.  I'd strongly suggest you figure out what caused this.  Assuming this was a bloody blister underneath the toenail (and not bruise), it was most probably caused by the toe box too flat or the shoe actually being too big for your foot and your foot sliding all over the place inside the shoes.  Shoes a few sizes too big would actually cause MORE problems than the right fitted shoes.  If this has happened to you before in the same shoes, it may actually be a good idea to look into a different type of shoes.  Your running style, I'd also suspect, may have something to do with it too--if you actually do run as I had envisioned (sliding on the forefoot part as you move your feet up front), you will be creating so much friction inside the shoe that your foot would be trying to move forward, getting jammed into the front end.  For something like that, assuming that might be a cause of it, roomier shoes won't help and, instead, probably cause more problems.  You don't need bigger shoes, you need the right shoes.

           

          Hi all,

           

          I'm now just under three weeks away from the half marathon I've been training towards for the past six months.  I've got one more week of "proper" training to go before starting to taper off and rest up for the half.  The problem is that on last Friday's long run (18km) I badly bruised one of my big toenails.  I ran on it the next day, and it was sore, but not terrible.  Then I took Sunday off, and this morning I did an interval session.  It didn't hurt too badly while I was running, but when I stopped to walk afterwards, it started absolutely killing me.  It's just been getting worse and worse throughout the day.  I haven't been able to put shoes back on since the run this morning without extreme pain, and by this afternoon I couldn't even walk properly barefoot.  It's throbbing like crazy.  I've tried soaking it in Epsom salts, and I actually tried to drain it by poking through the nail with a heated paperclip (a google solution which I was desperate enough to try).  I couldn't actually get through the nail with the paperclip though, so that didn't work.  I'm going to call around and try to get an appointment with a podiatrist in the morning if it's still this bad, but I thought I'd also ask for advice here.  I desperately want to keep up with my training, but at this stage, what I want most is for it to stop throbbing!  I think my shoes might be too tight, and I was thinking of getting new ones (although I'd be nervous about breaking in new shoes this close to the half).  That's a longer term thing though.  Right now, I just need to try and get it to stop hurting!  I'm taking pain meds, but not sure I'm going to get any sleep tonight!  Has anyone been through this?  How long did it take yours to get better?  Thanks for your help!

           

          Samantha

          Also, I hope this would be lesson to you and all the other readers as well.  I'm sure you've heard the phrase; "The best solution to injury is prevention."  It looks like the signs were all over the place and you chose to ignore them.  Following a training plan blindly will do you little good; or worse yet, it may actually cost the race that you had been training so hard to shoot for.  It'll be so much better to pick the injury bud while it's not fully blossomed.  Continue on running with the injury bud is one of the worst things you can do.

            I don't know if this is relevant to you or not but...

             

            This spring I either badly sprained or broke my toe by accidentally kicking a piece of furniture (I was sober. Really!). It was too painful to run after this because my shoe's pressure against the swollen toe was too much. After about a week of me becoming increasingly crazy I had the bright idea to take an old pair of shoes and cut a hole in them. It was an instant cure and my lame toe just blew freely in the wind. It went from too painful to run to slight discomfort. I used the shoes until my toe healed.

             

            If cutting a hole in an old pair of running shoes might offer some relief until you heal I'd consider trying it.

             

            Here's my shoe hack.

             

              BINGO!!  I had this pair years ago that fit my feet perfectly EXCEPT for the big toe--it was a bit flat there.  So I simply cut off a dollar coin size hole to relieve the pressure.  The shoe fit perfectly then and, in fact, I ran my first marathon in those; no black toenail or even a blister.  In fact, I think I bought a few more pairs of the same model and did the same "operation" to suite my foot.  I didn't take a picture of it but I wish I did...

              I don't know if this is relevant to you or not but...

               

              This spring I either badly sprained or broke my toe by accidentally kicking a piece of furniture (I was sober. Really!). It was too painful to run after this because my shoe's pressure against the swollen toe was too much. After about a week of me becoming increasingly crazy I had the bright idea to take an old pair of shoes and cut a hole in them. It was an instant cure and my lame toe just blew freely in the wind. It went from too painful to run to slight discomfort. I used the shoes until my toe healed.

               

              If cutting a hole in an old pair of running shoes might offer some relief until you heal I'd consider trying it.

               

              Here's my shoe hack.

               

                Thanks for the response Nobby. I actually already did get new shoes, which is the only way I could run yesterday. I've been running in the Brooks Dyads, but they don't come in half sizes. I spent quite awhile at the store last time I chose shoes deciding between the smaller and bigger size, and chose the smaller - a decision which I now regret big time! I'm nervous about changing shoes this close to the half, but my toes wouldn't take any more time in the old shoes. This time I have Nike Lunarglides. They feel really good so far. My toes didn't rub at all on yesterday's run. There was a place on the inside of my right foot that was rubbing, but I think if I put a blister plaster on it before I run until the shoes are broken in, I should be okay. There weren't a lot of shoes left to choose from in my size, as apparently it's end of season, so I'm just hoping that they really are good for me in the long term. Yes, it probably was a blister rather than a bruise actually. And yes, I shouldn't have kept going to injure it further. There are a lot of things I've learnt and will do differently next time, but for now, I'm just really hoping to get through this half! How long did it take your toenail to come off? Mine is still attached at the moment, and with the new shoes and having it drained, it feels fine to run on. I'm worried about what stage it might be in by the time of the half (two weeks from Sunday).
                  Oops, looks like I cross posted with you both. Cutting a hole in the toe is an interesting idea, and cool that it worked! I've got blisters on several other toes also, so I really think I probably shouldn't have waited this long to get new shoes. However, if the new ones don't work out, I might consider operating on the old ones!
                    Oops, looks like I cross posted with you both. Cutting a hole in the toe is an interesting idea, and cool that it worked! I've got blisters on several other toes also, so I really think I probably shouldn't have waited this long to get new shoes. However, if the new ones don't work out, I might consider operating on the old ones!

                    They used to have open-toe running shoes from Lydiard & Co (not with Arthur Lydiard himself but his brother and one of his sons), or when they changed the name to "Laser" from New Zealand.  Some of my friends down there swore by them and many ultra runners loved them.