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Lingering Soreness from Frostbitten Toe

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Lingering Soreness from Frostbitten Toe

Postby PellucidWombat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:53 pm

Hey SPers,

So I got 'mild' frostbite in my big toe in March from prolonged exposure to cold and moisture. It started out as a little white blotch near the toenail, and over the next month the white blotch spread over half the toe and turned black as tissue began bleeding internally, pushing out the dead tissue in waves. There was no refreezing of the toe throughout.

Of course the toe hurt and 'vibrated' during that period as feeling was re-established, but eventually the pain went away - until a few weeks ago. Initially it was more sensitive to cold when I was in the mountains (as expected) and would sometimes ache unpredictably (unexpected - it might ache for 30 seconds, then stop, and wouldn't necessarily be when it felt cold).

Now it seems to have reached a level of staying mildly sore, into the front ball of my foot. The feeling is one of a subtle internal pressure with a dull ache in the tissue and toe joint and I'm experiencing it in Berkeley where it isn't cold at all. I'm wondering what I should do, if anything, beyond ignoring it and taking care to keep it extra warm on climbs. Maybe I should take more aspiring to help blood flow?

Thoughts?

- Mark
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Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:21 pm

I think you should go visit a doctor soon and not rely on people from the internet!
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Postby PellucidWombat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:32 pm

haha, I have a huge deductible, so if there was any advice that seemed level-headed, I figured I might as well start there since the pain is fairly moderate, but annoying. Otherwise, the doctor awaits!
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Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:44 pm

PellucidWombat wrote:haha, I have a huge deductible, so if there was any advice that seemed level-headed, I figured I might as well start there since the pain is fairly moderate, but annoying. Otherwise, the doctor awaits!

I actually got pretty cold the weekend before Memorial weekend, not expecting such cold weather. Had some fleece gloves but they weren't enough on a windy ridge with freezing temps.

Started experiencing some of the same symptoms you have, not coloration but tingling. Still a little but so slight I'm not concerned anymore, but lasted a couple weeks. I was surprised, so I guess I'm interested to see what folks come up with too.

Another fine example of America's health care system for all those who think it is so far and away the best.
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Postby PellucidWombat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:09 pm

my experience with nerve damage (?)/ numbness is that it can take a few weeks to a couple of months to heal, though the last time I experienced it was from numb hands from bike riding!

Don't get me started on the U.S. healthcare system. On my last knee surgery, I was sent, fresh from surgery, down the street to a pharmacy to get inflammation and pain meds for when the current ones wore off. Funny thing - the pharmacy didn't accept my insurance, so I had to pay in cash. Luckily the meds were affordable!
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Postby RayMondo » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:02 am

Well, anything that will promote circulation to that extrimity should help...

1. Keeping the core temperature warm will ensure peripheral circulation. So hats on etc.
2. Avoid tightening the laces too much / keep one of the pairs of socks thinner if boot is tight.
3. Avoid being static for too long. Move around at the desk etc, get up and walk around frequently.
4. Tea is good for the circulation, but keep alcohol low. Too much coffee is a stressor, which can reduce peripheral circulation. (The reason that stress reduces peripheral circulation, stems from the primitive fight or flight response, where, in the wild, if attacked and bleeding, then the circulation closes down to protect itself. Modern-day lifestyles can keep us partly in this stressed state - unless we have or develop a totally cool response).
5. Keep hydrated so blood does not thicken.
6. A herbal remedy to improve circulation is Butcher's Broom (capsules), as it relaxes the capillaries (also excellent for clearing the head). Google for info, reviews and sources.
7. Good nutrition will also help. Lots of fresh foods and full B-group vitamins which aid nerve repair and assist circulation too. I found a good liquid B complex, which is better assymylated.
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Postby tigerlilly » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:54 am

Most likely, your going to have pain from here on in. Chronic pain from frostbite is fairly common, I think. Once the tissue is damaged, it's damaged. Sorry.

Sucks.

IF I WERE YOU................I'd see a doctor.
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Postby ZethKinnett » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:33 am

Did you try spraying windex on it?
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Postby tigerlilly » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:56 am

ooohkay. what does Windex do? just curious
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Postby Dave Dinnell » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:01 am

Hey Mark, you might give the Berkeley Free Clinic a try: http://www.berkeleyfreeclinic.org/home.html

You might get a doc or med student intrigued enough to spend some time looking onto it with you (nice break from the usual.)
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Postby Buz Groshong » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:33 pm

RayMondo wrote:Well, anything that will promote circulation to that extrimity should help...

1. Keeping the core temperature warm will ensure peripheral circulation. So hats on etc.
2. Avoid tightening the laces too much / keep one of the pairs of socks thinner if boot is tight.
3. Avoid being static for too long. Move around at the desk etc, get up and walk around frequently.
4. Tea is good for the circulation, but keep alcohol low. Too much coffee is a stressor, which can reduce peripheral circulation. (The reason that stress reduces peripheral circulation, stems from the primitive fight or flight response, where, in the wild, if attacked and bleeding, then the circulation closes down to protect itself. Modern-day lifestyles can keep us partly in this stressed state - unless we have or develop a totally cool response).
5. Keep hydrated so blood does not thicken.
6. A herbal remedy to improve circulation is Butcher's Broom (capsules), as it relaxes the capillaries (also excellent for clearing the head). Google for info, reviews and sources.
7. Good nutrition will also help. Lots of fresh foods and full B-group vitamins which aid nerve repair and assist circulation too. I found a good liquid B complex, which is better assymylated.


See why you shouldn't go to the internet for medical advice? Lot's of hokus pokus, old-wives' tales, superstition, and other bullshit.
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Postby PellucidWombat » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:37 am

I think I'll try out the clinic. That's a great idea.

From what I can tell as I look at my toe, I think it's a circulation problem with blood backing up at the toe joint. This would explain why some feeling of coldness accompanies the pain, and why it also feels odd when I'm swimming (as I'm not putting much pressure on it then but blood flow to the leg is increased).
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Postby ZethKinnett » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:34 am

I heard Almond milk is a good mild natural anti-inflamitory that has helped people regain circulation to frost bitten extremities.
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Postby tigerlilly » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:16 pm

How did you do this? (just curious) What were you wearing?
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