I slipped in the shower and banged my toes ito the wall as I fell. I had them xrayed no fracture, put Ice on them for a week while swelling was reduced big toe still hurts.
I am male, 68, have muscular dystrophy - can still walk a little with a cain, can stand holding on, can drive, have high blood pressure under control with medicine.
What should I do to complete the healing? For example, should I continue cold or start warm compresses? Please help.
I believe in ice for the first 24 hours of an injury. The point of icing is to reduce inflammation and swelling to limit the initial pain, which is usually the worst pain that you will experience.
After 24 hours I recommend going to heat, but you have to use moist heat such as those found in hot-cold packs or even warm soaks. Dry heat like a heating pad is not as effective.
When it comes to bruised or sprained toes (x-ray was negative for fracture), I would also recommend that you consider taping the bruised toes together or to the adjacent toe that is not bruised.
The purpose of this is to immobilize the toes and to splint them. By splinting them you prevent them from bending and swelling, both of which will make it more comfortable to walk and will accelerate the healing process.
I would recommend you purchase one inch wide hypo-allergenic cloth tape. Tear a piece of long enough to wrap around the toes. Not too tight, but just snug enough.
If your feet tend to perspire a lot, then you might want to put a very small piece of gauze in between the toes to absorb the moisture so you do not end up giving yourself an athletes foot infection.
You must change the tape daily and if you get it wet, you must remove it as that too will exacerbate athletes foot.
This is about all you can do on your own, but most of my patients find taping dramatically improves their ability to walk more comfortably.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER