When do you stop stubbing your toes? (warning: graphic bloody toe picture)

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by 5t3ph4n13, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. barefootn

    barefootn Barefooters
    1. New York

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    I hate when that happens. I have been trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. It seems like the tip of my toe will catch on the pavement while I am bringing my foot forward and sometimes cause it to roll under. I am trying to pick up my feet higher and avoid pointing my toes down during the forward recovery. You are right that this seems to happen when you are tired or distracted.

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  2. BarefootOakland

    BarefootOakland Barefooters
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    I haven't posted much, but thought I might be able to say something helpful - I'm pretty clumsy, but I haven't had this problem in 3+ months of running barefoot. Perhaps it is because I'm still concentrating on lifting my feet off of the ground the instant they touch, and also bringing my knees high, "100-up" style. Also, pulling your toes back might help. There have been a few times where the balls of my feet brushed something sticking up ahead of me and I knew that if my toes hadn't been up and back, they would have been stubbed. I'm not sure how you train yourself to do that though, it seems to have been natural in my case.
     
  3. Alejandro 10

    Alejandro 10 Barefooters
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    Barefootn,

    What if, rather than picking your foot up higher, you bent your toes up how you would pick them up off the floor with the rest of your foot remaining flat on the floor.

    _________s
    ________e
    _______o
    heel ball t

    Sorry, I'm not really sure of another way to post it graphically. Ken Bob refers to it as "curving up the toes" in his "1-2-3 Landing segment (95). Page 96 of his book has a good graphic (the top picture).

    Here is a link to the Google Book preview. http://books.google.com/books?id=gckPswZQ5iwC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=ken bob saxton 1-2-3 Landing&source=bl&ots=OLVZP74E_b&sig=D8svuB9zynPhqbtWfLiRqLnPT30&hl=en&sa=X&ei=U5mET8fXG4OK8QS8hpytCA&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
     
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  4. barefootn

    barefootn Barefooters
    1. New York

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    Alejandro. Thanks, toes up is definately something I need to work on. I've been meaning to get Ken Bob's book.
     
  5. Barefoot Bess

    Barefoot Bess Barefooters
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    I've done that several times since starting barefoot running a year ago. It tends to happen when I get tired or sloppy.
     
  6. Barfuß Chelsea

    Barfuß Chelsea Barefooters
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    The times I've stubbed my toes previously, it was the same deal! Maybe my form is just so perfect(ly wrong) that all toe-stubbing injuries will always look the same! ;)
     
  7. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Ha!
     
  8. Barfuß Chelsea

    Barfuß Chelsea Barefooters
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    So I seriously think I DID break my right big toe! :( If the first whack wasn't what did it, it was probably the fact that I stubbed it again yesterday while walking--yes folks, just walking--through town in my huaraches. Gah, why?!? I was seriously so mad, I could have punched someone! It was doing ok before that, but it's all swollen and stiff now. Not too painful, but also not normal and not run-ready. Anyone ever run a half three weeks after breaking a toe before? :(

    I've got pics but my phone won't let me upload them. Then again, pics without blood aren't nearly as fun. :p
     
  9. dutchie53

    dutchie53 Barefooters
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    I have ran long runs after stubbing my toe. My take is if you can bend and flex the toe without major discomfort you should be good to try a run. Remember bad things happen in threes. First one toe, than your other one (on the same run), than stubbing it in town. So I think you should be done with the bad breaks (no pun intended). ;)
     
  10. 5t3ph4n13

    5t3ph4n13 Barefooters

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    Oh yeah, it never stops my run. Like dutchie said- if you can bend and flex the toe, 'tis only a flesh wound!
     
  11. Shufflefarm

    Shufflefarm Barefooters
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    Hiya. First off, stubbing does seem to get more infrequent over time. I've noticed the following in my own experience:

    1. much of my toe stubbing seemed to coincide whenever I was coming up to a junction in the road. I can see now that I would start looking sideways to see if any traffic was coming and on reflection, I tend to twist my upper body a little in that direction too. This changes my form - my footfall and leg drops, which increased the chance of my foot/tow scraping along the ground. Consequently, now, I am very conscious about just slowing down or even stopping when getting to a junction or just monitoring my form more. This seems to have solved the problem.

    2. Like others have said, if I get tired or "zone out", then my form changes and increases my chances of a "stub". Again, I try to keep this in mind and stay alert, especially when the running surface is dodgy. From my experience (and it seems others' too) , getting your knees up really helps and I consciously adopt this running form when running on uneven tarmac and over speedbumps, etc.

    3. Don't let it stop your run. The pain soon wears off (good old endorphins!) and things can be sorted out once home. I find it's more my pride that's injured - trolling around the local roads with a bloody foot is not a good advert for barefoot running! :)
     
  12. NickW

    NickW Guest

    One thing I've noticed lately, is that now that I am truly barefoot for more than just running, I really don't stub my toes now. I think maybe switching back and forth between shoes and barefoot confuses the brain causing stubbed toes. This is just a theory of mine.
     
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  13. Terry B.

    Terry B. Barefooters
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    Bumping an old thread. I apologize if this isn't kosher but I joined to do so.

    Is the above the general consensus? I stubbed my toe hard enough to actually fall during a 42k a few days ago. It happened ~11.5k in though stopped hurting 45 minutes later. Of course, the run was at night and, you guessed it, I hit it again shortly after that. I was more pissed off than hurt and finished to find it was swelling and several shades of purple within the hour. Everything that I found online (outside of this site) said 'swelling+discoloration = broken toe and immediate trip to the ER'. However, a day of ice and elevation and rest left it feeling better and some of the color is fading and I'm fairly sure it's broken.

    Is there a reason to get something like this checked out via x-rays? Could there be a hairline break or something of that nature that I'm not aware of?
     
  14. dutchie53

    dutchie53 Barefooters
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    Terry, if there is doubt go to the doctor and get an xray, always err on the side of caution. If it is broken they will tell you to stay off your feet for 6-8 weeks, there is not much they can or will do unless it is a displaced fracture.
     
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  15. barefootn

    barefootn Barefooters
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    Terry, I did the same thing running in the woods.
    I kicked something and the ring toe first joint swelled up like a grape. I was able to run on it but it hurt and was not healing. I got some 3/4" X 3 1/2" fabric bandages and stuck one end on top of my small toe then went under the injured toe with the pad side towards the ground and stuck the other end on top of the middle toe. This supported the injured toe. I did this for about six weeks and was able to continue running. It's ok now.
    Good luck.
     
  16. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    You can just take the time off if you think it's broken. 6-8 weeks is what your doc will tell you. That's about how long it takes to recover. It's a small amount of time compared to making it worse and hurting yourself more to continue running. It takes two weeks for a fracture to appear on film.
     

  17. Terry B.

    Terry B. Barefooters
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    That's the advice that I would give somebody else in the same situation. I have an appointment scheduled with an orthopedic doctor in a few days.

    I tried taping - it made things feel worse. I've shown it to three (non doctor) people that I trust - one said "broken", one said "possible break though likely sprain" and the other said "looks like a bruise". None are doctors, but the third has run more barefoot than anybody else that I know in person.
     
  18. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    Sprain, strain, fracture. All require 6-8 weeks of rest. If you think or feel like its's broken, you're probably right.
     

  19. Efrem

    Efrem Chapter Presidents
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    I have stubbed my tow quite a bit lately since I've been doing a lot of trail and hilly running. That was not so much an issue when I did all my running on the street except for the uneven pavement slabs that some of you mentioned. It got the point a month ago where I was really frustrated, let alone having a messed up chunk of big toe all the time. Especially the left side. I think it is mostly a matter of dorsiflexing your toes and ankle of the leading foot. Just to clarify, dorsiflexing your toes is the same as extending your toes. My left big toe extension is much more limited and that side has most of the problems with toe stubs (as well as problems getting full hip extension on that side) . I think the more you can extend (dorsiflex) your toes, the less you need to dorsiflex your ankle, but it probably helps to do both and in fact sometime what helps me is to visualize going for a nice heel-strike so that dorsiflexion stays on my mind.
     
  20. Terry B.

    Terry B. Barefooters
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    I went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor who has a background in physiotherapy and is a runner. He's patched me up before and I tend to trust his opinion. He didn't think that it was broken though figured on some sort of ligament damage and recommended me to an orthopedic surgeon (and his x-ray machine). However, before I left his office, he said that he could help me get the discoloration and some swelling out of it and...bled me. Basically, similar to acupuncture needles but releasing blood in the tip and joint that hurt far worse than the injury itself. Leaving the office, if felt a bit better and when I took my shoe off in the doctor office the next day, it looked similar to my other toe. X-rays negative, ligament damage suspected. Orthopedic doctor said no activity for three weeks - TCM doctor said take it easy and manage by pain. Ran a 50k and 42k three weeks later and things seem to be fine now.
     

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