Turf Toe – What is it?
Turf toe is a common sports injury that affects the big toe joint. It is caused by a sprain to the ligaments that attach the big toe to the foot. This injury is commonly seen in athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf toe.” However it can also be caused by kicking an object hard, like your lawnmower when it won’t start!
The symptoms of turf toe include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected toe. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it can make it difficult to walk or put pressure on the affected foot. In some cases, the toe may also turn blue or black and become numb.
The treatment for turf toe typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). This means avoiding activities that aggravate the injury, applying ice to the affected area, using compression bandages to reduce swelling, and keeping the foot elevated. Over-the-counter pain medication can also be used to manage the pain.
In more severe cases we may recommend immobilization of the foot with a cast or brace. Supporting the foot with an orthotic insole or carbon plate can help relieve pressure on the joint. Physical therapy, especially laser can also be helpful in restoring range of motion and strength to the affected toe. Surgery is rarely necessary for turf toe, but it may be considered if the ligament is severely damaged.
Preventing turf toe involves wearing appropriate footwear that provides adequate support for the foot and toes. Shoes with a stiff sole and a wide toe box can help to prevent the foot from bending too much at the big toe joint. Athletes who play on artificial turf should also consider wearing turf shoes with extra padding and support. And try not to kick things out of frustration as you will always lose!
In conclusion, turf toe is a common sports injury that can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It is important to seek medical attention if the pain and swelling are severe or if the toe is numb or discoloured. If you are struggling with turf toe and it is not getting better despite the above advice, give us a call at Active Podiatry and let us help you get back on your feet.