Turf Toe: A Big Toe Injury
Is your big toe bothering you? If you’re active in sports, like football or dance, chances are you may be suffering from a common ailment affecting those who engage in activities that require repeatedly pushing off the big toe: it’s dubbed “turf toe”.
Metatarsophalangeal joint sprain or turf toe, as it’s more commonly known, is most often seen in football players who play on artificial turf, as well as in soccer players, basketball players, wresters, ballerinas and gymnasts.
The pain in the big toe associated with turf toe is a result of the ligaments around the big toe joint, which allow the toe to move upward and downward, becoming sprained.
The sprain is often a result of the big toe remaining flat on the ground after pushing forward with the big toe while shifting weight to the other foot. Falling forward or being tackled while your toe stays flat to the ground can also result in the toe becoming hyper-extended. Recurring hyper-extension of the big toe or sudden motion is what results in a sprain or turf toe.
Pain, swelling and limited movement at the base of the big toe often accompany turf toe, which gradually gets worse over time if the sprain is a result of a repetitive injury. If the injury is a result of a sudden motion, the pain will appear immediately and increase within 24 hours. Some report feeling a “pop” with limited movement of the big toe.
An ample amount of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E. treatment) is often recommended for those suffering from turf toe. Crutches, casts, or a special walking boot may also be prescribed to help immobilize the toe in order to protect it from further damage.
If you are suffering from turf toe and are still experiencing pain after at-home treatments, contact a podiatrist to help you get back on your feet. Click here to request an appointment with one of our podiatrists!
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