Monday, October 18, 2010

Turf Toe

The second most painful thing that ever happened to me was turf toe. (The worst was an infected tooth.) It's a common injury in football, wrestling and rugby; I managed to get it while dancing in my dining room. I was practicing a Charleston move called hacksaws when my right foot didn't clear the floor. It was like pounding my fist into the floor, except it was my foot. Basically, I sprained the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint of my big toe. For the next few weeks that winter, I shuffled around in my sandals, the only shoes I could get on my swollen foot. At least it wasn't snowing.

A few things helped my foot feel better. My doctor gave me a shot in my foot and put a dressing on it. (The dressing was another reason I could wear nothing but sandals that adjusted across the toes.) The shot took away some of the pain and swelling. Another thing that helped was acupressure. After a few minutes pressing points K3 and K6, especially, I could walk without pain. (I used the book Acupressure's Potent Points as a guide.) Getting my feet out of the way every time I heard my dog get ready to climb onto the bed became a reflex that lasted for months after I healed. I never noticed it until my bout with turf toe, but she often walked on my feet when she climbed on the bed.

I was able to run after a few weeks and could dance without pain after a month. (Of course, I didn't wait that long to dance again.)

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