Turf toe is a term used to describe a sprain of the big toe joint, which occurs when the toe is hyperextended or bent back too far. It is a common injury in sports that are played on artificial turf, hence the name "turf toe."
The injury occurs when the toe is suddenly forced into a hyperextended position, such as when an athlete pushes off from the ground to run or jump. This can cause damage to the ligaments and soft tissue around the big toe joint
Symptoms of turf toe include:
Pain and swelling at the base of the big toe.
Difficulty moving the toe, especially when bending it upward.
Bruising or discoloration of the toe or foot.
Stiffness or soreness in the toe or foot.
Treatment for turf toe typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). This can help reduce pain and swelling and promote healing. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, immobilization of the toe with a cast or brace may be necessary to allow the ligaments and soft tissue to heal. Physical therapy exercises may also be recommended to help improve range of motion and strength in the affected foot.
Some common causes of turf toe include:
Sports activities: Turf toe is commonly associated with sports activities that involve running, jumping, and quick changes of direction, such as football, soccer, basketball, and dance.
Wearing flexible shoes: Shoes that are too flexible can increase the risk of turf toe, as they do not provide enough support for the foot and can allow for excessive bending of the big toe joint.
Playing on hard surfaces: Playing on hard surfaces, such as concrete or artificial turf, can increase the impact on the feet and increase the risk of injury.
Previous injury: People who have previously injured their big toe joint may be at higher risk for developing turf toe.