Why Do My Toenails Hurt After Running?

Toenail painToenail pain is always aggravating, but even more so if you love to run. The pain can keep you from enjoying your daily exercise. Pain in your toenails can be attributed to a variety of causes, including:


Everyone experiences toe pain at some point in their lives due to the constant use of their feet. Most of these problems can be prevented by taking precautions in daily life. Even if problems arise, they can usually be treated easily with creams or ointments or homemade remedies.

Causes and Remedies of Toenail Pain

Wearing the right footwear is important for the health of your feet. If you wear shoes that are too narrow and tight, your toes have little to no space to move about. The pressure placed on your toes could result in the growth of bunions or ingrown toenails. High heeled shoes are also known for putting pressure on toes and causing discomfort and pain. Women should try to limit the use of heels for work or formal occasions to give their feet a rest and eliminate unnecessary toe pain.

Ingrown toenails can also be caused by rounding the edges of your nails when cutting. As the nail grows back, it curves and embeds itself into the skin, producing pain. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt can help treat ingrown toenails and reduce pain. This water treatment softens the surrounding skin so it can be pulled away from the nail. You can also apply antiseptic ointment to the area to prevent infection.

Another common cause of toenail pain is fungus, aka athlete’s foot. As fungus grows around your toes, the nails may begin to come apart and crumble, causing pain. Soaking your feet in a water/vinegar solution daily can help get rid of the fungus. Over the counter creams and ointments are also available for athlete’s foot.

Prevention is the best course of action when it comes to foot fungus. Fungus can be easily picked up by walking barefoot in public places, so be sure to keep your feet covered at all times. Keep the insides of your shoes dry and make a habit of changing your socks daily. Cotton socks are best as they allow your feet to breathe, keeping them fresher and drier when you run.

Avid runners may experience toenail pain due to foot injuries or wearing ill-fitting runners. It’s easy to bruise the toenail by wearing runners that are too long ,as your feet have ample space to slide about. Shoes that are too tight put pressure on your toes while running, increasing the chances of bruising the nail.

Injuries caused by stubbing your toe or dropping heavy objects on your feet can also bruise the nail. You may not notice the bruise right away, but you’ll experience toenail pain during or after your running. Over time, your nail may change color or begin to detach from the nail bed. This makes it difficult to continue with your exercise regimen.

How to Handle Serious Toenail Pain

Minor toenail problems can be handled through simple treatments. In the event of serious toenail pain that doesn’t go away, you may need to see your physician. Painful bruises that encompass your whole nail may require medical attention to avoid infection. You may have a laceration under the nail that’s not noticeable to you but is causing pain. Bone fractures can also occur beneath your toenails, which need medical attention in order to heal. Once proper treatments have been completed, you can continue exercising and running free of pain and discomfort.

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