Very sore badly bruised Big Toe

I am running in the London Marathon.  On Sunday I did 19 miles but my big toe was very sore for the last 8 miles.  It is badly bruised (especially under the toe nail) and very very sore.  I have since been wearing sandals so it doesn't rub, using Voltarol gel on it and taking painkillers (it keeps me awake at night).  I tried to run this evening (after padding my toe) but stopped after 100 yards as it was too painful to run.  The shoes I ran in are my usual running shoes that I bought over 6 weeks ago and have been fine. Any advice on what to do please?  Thanks.image


  • Sounds like you are due to lose a nail?

    Stick a pin under the nail to relieve the pressure, unless you have dropped a wardrobe on your foot then I suspect this is what is happening, voltarol wont help I dont think
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for your reply. Do you know of anything I can use to act as a padding?  I've got those foam toe protectors from Boots but they didn't seem to help me.
  • I would suspect that you need to relieve the pressure first ...
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    Where exactly should the pin go?
  • What you have is probably a subungual haematoma. I.e. bleeding beneath the nail. I'd see your GP. Last thing you want is a nailbed infection from pushing a pin into it! You can usually get away with it with the smaller toes but the big toe is very much involved in gait so it will affect your running.

    I've read that if the bruising beneath the nail exceeds 25% of the nail area then you should seek medical attention and that the sensitivity usually dies down in approx 7-10 days.

  • Stick the pin through the toenail itself into the bit where the bruising is worst. That will allow the blood trapped under the nail to get out and should hopefully relieve the pressure.

    And try to figure out why it happened on this run, if your trainers have been fine up till now. Was your toenail needing a trim? Is that why it was bashing against the front of your sho? Or did you just not lace your shoe tight enoug, so that your foot wasn't held tight against the back of your shoe...

  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Tom and Noanie. I'll leave it for a couple more days then see if GP if it hasn't improved, or maybe chiropodist? The nail isn't that long but I could cut it a bit. When it is better, can you recommend any toe protection?
  • you can get silicone toe caps. They are essentially like condoms for your toes. Physio supplies I think sell them. Just google the term
  • Chiropodist might be a good idea but I think you'd have to pay for that, probably a waiting list on the NHS.

    In terms of padding it seems strange that you've been fine so far and suddenly you get an issue. Out of interest what shoes do you run in? I have the Nike Lunar Eclipse 2 and find the sole on the forefoot is a bit thin and flimsy despite being brand new.
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭

    I went to my GP today and I have a toe infection and have been given pencillin. I am also seeing a chiropodist tomorrow so hopefully I'll be back running soonish.  I'm going for a bike ride tomorrow.

    Incidentally I had the Nike Lunar Eclipse last year but I found them a bit narrow.  I have a very wide foot and was advised to buy mens shoes (I'm female) so last year and this year I bought Mens Asics Kayano Gel 16.  I ran my first marathon last May in them and they seemed ok, apart from the usual blisters.

  • If you're getting blisters, your shoes aren't quite perfect for your feet. Either that, or you're not lacing them tight enough and your foot is slipping about inside the shoe. Even at marathon distance, I rarely get blisters any more. I haven't had heel or toe blisters for years now, and I only occasionally get a little chafed bit on my instep. Too many people think blisters are just part and parcel of long distance running, but they don't have to be!
  • Hi Smiley,
    A toe infection makes sense, at least it explains why it suddenly started being an issue when it hadn't been.
    I have Kayanos too, I got the 18's absolutely love them!
    Hope you're on the mend soon and back on the road!
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Noanie - I'll try lacing them a little tighter. I do find however that if I do them too tight then my foot aches - it's a fine balance!

  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Tom. Fingers crossed. I like the Mens Kayanos too - got the last pair on the internet cheaply as they were discontinued!
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    The chiropodist drained out the fluid from under my toenail yesterday and bandaged it up (there was quite a lot of fluid).  No running until next week.  I cycled 20 miles yesterday and 7 today as that dosen't put pressure on my toe and I'm a bit concerned that I haven't run since last Sunday.  It's still sore but I'm hoping that will go.  I got some of those silicon toe caps you mentioned, Nick which I can use from next Thursday after I have soaked the foot 5 days running in warm salty water!  Fingers crossed....
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    Both of my big toes have over the last week turned black from a 100 miler at the start of the month. Not painful but the nails are very wobbly and not sure how long.they are gonna hold on for! Never lost a nail before....
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    I've lost several toe nails but they have never hurt before until now - they just look nasty! Well done on your 100 miler!
  • I ran bath half just over a week ago and have two blak toe nails on each foot which did feel bruised on top but don't really hurt now just look disgusting- is this normal after long runs? One nail has been back throughout training but the other three are from last week?
  • smiley999smiley999 ✭✭✭
    I've lost a few toe nails over the years - they weren't painful just unsightly.  I know runners who have also lost their nails and others who have had no problems - just luck of the draw I expect!
  • i've lost loads in my time

    as soon as i see them bad, i sterilise scissors , cut the nail back as far as possible, drain them, - apply germolene or likes of-

    they soon dry out and heel up

    and if nails does rot, i help it off bit by bit

    but righlty like someone says

    be careful

    good luck

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