When you hear an NFL player is sitting out with Turf Toe, you probably think that you should tough it out and play. Turf Toe barely sounds like an injury but do not let it fool you. Turf toe is a serious sports injury, and it can be beyond painful. You will never know how important your big toe is as an athlete until you suffer this injury. Turf toes are when you sprain the ligaments around your toe from hyperextension. If you play any sport that requires running, it is almost impossible to push through a severe case of turf toe.
Turf Toe Anatomy
The reason turf toe is so painful is because all the force you produce when running or changing direction must go through your big toe and the ground. Sometimes when you are pushing to accelerate you can put too much pressure on the big toe and the ligaments that provide stability for the big toe stretch and even tear in severe cases.
After this injury occurs you cannot push off to initiate movement without your big toe due to a lot of pain because the stabilizing ligaments that hold it in place are hurt.
Turf Toe Causes
Turf toe is always a sudden injury. It is just one step or movement through the big toe that is too much for the structure to handle. The reason it is called turf toe is because it used to happen the most frequently to athletes playing football on turf. It can happen on any playing surface in any sport that requires acceleration. If you are not wearing the proper shoes for your sport and feet, you increase your chances of this injury.
Turf Toe Symptoms
- Immediate pain
- Feel or hear a pop in the toe
- Hurts to move the toe
- Pain can get worse 24 hours after injury
How Turf Toe is Diagnosed
Upon visiting a doctor or health care provider, they will want to know about your lifestyle, sports played, and shoes that are worn. Once your healthcare provider has gotten a clear picture of your life, they will want to know when the injury started and what first caused the pain. From this point, the doctor will begin to evaluate your toe. If they have not concluded by this point, they will get an X-Ray, MRI, or CT Scan done.
Treatment of Turf Toe
The frustrating thing about turf toe injuries for athletes is that they need rest. At first, to help keep inflammation down it can be beneficial to ice the injury and keep it elevated. Once the swelling is gone, the injury needs the joint capsule not to move to heal. You can opt to take an over the counter pain killer, just know that it does not solve the problem, it just masks the injury.
It usually takes about two to three weeks just for the pain to dissipate. During that time you may need to use crutches or a walking boot to get around. All of these things help to make sure that you do not put pressure on the joint so it can heal properly. If the sprain is serious enough, you may need surgery by an orthopedic surgeon.
As an athlete, one of the most important aspects of turf toe is the rehab so you can return to play. A normal person with a desk job may not need rehab. Since as an athlete you put a lot of pressure through your toe you need to make sure that your toe can withstand said pressures. The goal of physical therapy will be to increase the range of motion and strength of the joint.
Preventing Turf Toe
Make sure the health care provider you see helps you come up with a prevention plan. If you do not have turf toe you want to keep it that way, it is never too early to ee a healthcare provider. Spending the money up front can save you thousands of dollars in surgery and time off later on.
Finding The Best Local Sports Medicine Providers for Turf Toe
Kho Health is the best place to start your search for a health care provider to help you stay healthy. The key to success as an athlete is staying healthy and making sure the injuries are dealt with appropriately. Any athlete that runs is at more risk of a Turf Toe, and the key to success as an athlete is staying healthy.
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Physical Therapist with any skill set you need. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there, Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or making sure you don’t run into Turf Toe issues.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. How do you decide which healthcare providers are the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers When Dealing with Turf Toe
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives so that you can get the best help at the right time for any Turf Toe problems.
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more