The thrills that the winter season brings can never be downplayed, especially for sports aficionados. Whether it’s in your everyday locale or at a holiday resort, imagine spending some good time with your friends and family going down the sloppy snow-covered mountains in the name of skiing. The atmosphere can be magical, to say the least. But wait a minute! Have you ever realized that skiing is a high-speed sport that will likely place an astonishing amount of stress and pressure on your feet? Well, wait until you try skiing with a broken toe.
Is it even possible to ski with a broken toe? Well, it all depends on the severity of the injury and what your podiatrist tells you. If you can get your foot into the ski boots, then you should be okay to ski with a broken toe since the boot will act as a cast. On the other hand, if the broken part of your toe is close to the joint that connects the toe to your foot, then it’s going to be extremely painful to even put on the ski boots and you’ll be better off taking a couple of weeks or even months off from skiing.
In this insightful article, we’ll go through everything that you need to know about skiing with a broken toe. We’ll highlight a few things that can cause your toe to break when skiing and what to do if you have to ski with a broken toe. That being said, read on and learn more on whether or not you can indulge in some skiing activities with a broken toe.
What Can Cause Your Toe to Break when Skiing?
There’s no doubt that skiing puts excessive demands on your feet and ankles. As you are going downhill or cross-country, your entire body is being propelled by feet and of course, the boards under them. So when you slalom, make a turn or jump, you are subjecting your feet and lower parts of your body to excessive gravitational and rotational forces that might sometimes cause a toe or two to break, especially if you land badly.
You also have to keep in mind that several external variables and factors will affect you during your skiing adventures. Whether it’s the angling of a hill or the density of the snow in a particular area, these factors can cause your toe to break.
The Importance of Having the Right Ski Boots
It’s of great importance to ensure that you properly look after your feet if you want to enjoy skiing without a broken toe or related foot injuries as we’ll see in the next part of this article. You have to keep in mind that a good pair of skiing boots that fit you perfectly is paramount. In other words, these boots are the most important piece of equipment.
So whether you’re buying or hiring the boots, make sure that they are properly designed and are well-fitting. If you’re a beginner, consider going for skiing boots that are more flexible and comfortable. On the other hand, you can go for stiffer and more responsive options if you’re experienced and indulging in high-performance skiing adventures.
You are probably wondering; why are well-fitting skiing boots important? Having well-fitting skiing boots is essential in ensuring that pressure from jumping, turning, or any action while skiing is evenly distributed across the sole of your feet. This is vital in making you comfortable, optimizing performance, and preventing injury. It doesn’t matter how physically fit you are, ill-fitting ski boots will not only increase the risks of injury but will make you fatigued because of the inefficiency caused by the unstable platform.
What are Some Common Ski Injuries?
Apart from a broken toe, there are other common ski injuries that you might encounter during your skiing escapades. They include:
Ankle or Foot Fractures
Nobody wants to get injured when they’re doing what they enjoy doing but it can happen sometimes. With that in mind, one of the most prevalent ski injuries is ankle or foot fractures. Your ankle or foot will most likely fracture or break when excessive pressure is placed on the bone. This will occur if you land awkwardly after falling, jumping, or colliding with another skier or object.
When this happens, it will be extremely painful and you won’t be able to ski with a broken ankle or foot. The best thing to do is seek medical attention immediately by visiting a podiatrist.
If you’ve been skiing for years, you’ve probably experienced Morton’s Neuroma. This is a foot injury that’s caused by excessive nerve inflammation around the ball of the foot. It occurs because the nerve between the third and fourth metatarsals is pinched as a result of wearing ski boots that are not properly adjusted.
To avoid this foot injury, make sure that you choose the right size of ski boots for your feet. And if you start experiencing pain while skiing, you can loosen the boots as this will help in decreasing the pressure on the nerve. But if the pain persists, you might as well stop skiing and visit a foot doctor to have the injured area checked and treated.
But even with that, the best way to prevent Morton’s Neuroma is by ensuring that you wear ski boots that are designed with a wide toe area. This is of great importance in averting compression on your toes that will cause this injury. Again, you should always ensure that you stretch your feet and toes before indulging in skiing activities.
A painful discomfort commonly experienced by many skiers, this is a medical term that’s used to describe pain and inflammation in the forefoot. This is a common injury that will occur if you ski for long periods without taking breaks. In other words, it’s an overuse injury that will leave your feet and toes feeling numb, with aches, pains, and burning sensations. It can also occur due to poor pressure distribution. As such, the best way of dealing with this is by wearing well-fitted boots for your skiing adventures.
Foot Bruises and Blisters
Foot bruises and blisters may not be injuries per se and may not be as painful as other foot injuries but they can still take their toll and prevent you from enjoying skiing. This is also caused by wearing ill-fitting boots and/or tight fastening. Blisters can as well be caused by moisture, high temperature, and abrasions inside the boots during many hours of skiing.
The first and most important way to prevent foot bruises and blisters is to wear properly fitting skiing boots. You must also make sure that you wear appropriate socks or use an anti-chafing product that can help in reducing friction. You can also tape your feet using athletic tape and also make sure that you always keep your feet dry using baby powder or antiperspirants.
Skier’s Toe/ Toe Bang
Also known as toe bang, a skier’s toe is when there’s bleeding under your nails making the area turn black. This can happen when you go skiing with ill-fitting boots. Such boots will compress the nerve and compromise blood circulation in those areas. Whether you are buying your own pair of skiing boots or renting them, make sure that you try them out and walk around on them for a few seconds before committing to them and hitting the slopes. The only way to prevent a skier’s toe is to go for well-fitting boots.
So Can You Ski with a Broken Toe?
As we noted at the beginning, it will depend on the severity of your injury. It’s in human nature that you’ll not perform optimally if the pain is unbearable. If this is the case, then it will be wise to seek medical attention and wait until the toe is fully recovered before going back to the slopes. It’s essential to note that this may take up to four weeks depending on the severity of the injury.
In essence, skiing isn’t a must if you have a broken toe. Unless you can bear the extreme pain that a broken toe is associated with, you should stay away from the icy slopes until you’re fully recovered. If you can bear the pain, then you should consider taping your broken toe to the next toe to stabilize it and prevent it from further injury.
You’ll, however, have to consider the repercussions of skiing with a broken toe. Chances are you’ll aggravate it further and this can be more problematic down the line. Again, you won’t be able to do anything crazy such as hitting those big jumps because you’ll be conscious of further aggravating the injury.
To this end, it’s important to avoid skiing with a broken toe for fear of further aggravating the injury, which may mean that you won’t be able to ski until the next winter season. As such, the best thing to do when you have a broken toe is to seek medical attention. You should look for a qualified podiatrist to treat you and only go back to the slopes once you’re fully healed and feeling better. More importantly, make sure that you get the right fitting boots as they’ll help reduce the chances of getting injured.
Until then, enjoy the slopes and stay safe!