We have all done it. Jam, twist, turn, bend, or sprain our little toe. How can a toe so small hurt so much? With every step I feel a sharp, stabbing pain. I limp around the office with my head down , trying to walk normal. When people see me limp they all ask the same question, with legitimate concern : "What's wrong?"
Instead of having a great sports story, I have to give them a cliff notes tale of being attacked in the middle of the night by a bed post. Darn that metal bed leg, I knew I should have spent the extra money on a bed frame with the legs tucked further under the bed.
That poor little toe is swollen, black, and blue. How can such a little joint swell up so much? Every step reminds me of the injury. When will the sharp pain stop? It amazes me how often I use my little toe with everyday activ iti es. It hurts to stand, step, run, or walk. Jumping is out of the question, not that I really want to, anyway. Today I realized how my dress shoes are narrower than I expected. Putting on the brown shoes was worse than the black shoes. I wished for more options other than one black and one brown pair of shoes.
What is the therapy and treatment for getting the toe to heal? Put a splint on it? What happens if I play a sport and need it better ,faster ? What if I have a softball tournament this weekend? I need the toe better before a weekend of abuse. Yes, ice will be important to get the inflammation and pain down. It will stop the excessive inflammatory products from accumulating. But w hat else can I do?
Heat and ice in alternating cycles will help. Ice for 15 minutes to reduce the temperatures and decrease the inflammatory cascade. Then use heat for 15 minutes to increase nutrient rich blood flow and wash away the waste products and inflammatory molecules. This will also help with the pain.
A quick scan of the internet revealed very little else for treatment. The little toe is too small to ultrasound very well. Apparently it is also too hard to place electrode pads on to effectively reduce the inflammation with any electric therapy.
Thankfully cold laser therapy is a treatment that helps muscles, tendons, and joints heal faster. Cold lasers have specific frequency and wavelengths that promote healing, decrease inflammation, and block pain signals. They help nerves to heal and repair. Cold lasers have different settings for each region of the body to send the right amount of energy into the tissue.
A few people in the office laughed at me when I said I was going in for treatment on my little toe. However, if cold laser therapy can work to speed the healing on finger, wrist, elbow, or shoulder joint injuries then why won't it help my toe? The mechanisms of lasers will work the same in all joints. Cold lasers effectively ramp up the healing process by increas ing blood flow, decreas ing inflammation, and blocking pain.
I realize that little toe sprain is not a life threatening injury, however f aster healing is faster healing . I want my little toe better so I can run the bases all weekend. I would hate to imagine the years of abuse my friends will give me for not playing this weekend due to a little toe injury.
More information can be found about Cold Laser Therapy and its mechanisms for healing here.