What is Turf Toe?

Turf Toe is an injury that affects the big toe and can be incredibly painful. The effects of turf toe can put football players out of action for weeks.

The injury received its name due to American football players hurting their big toes on artificial turf or astroturf.

More football pitches are being used around the world today with artificial turf allowing teams to play 12-months out of the year. Due to all-weather surfaces being employed more often nowadays, injuries due to artificial surfaces can be more common.

What is turf toe?

Turf toe occurs when a football player’s toe is bent backwards. This can happen when the forefoot gets stuck in the astroturf while the heel is up in the air. Jumping and taking a knock to the toes can also cause turf toe. Due to artificial grass being a harder surface because concrete is underneath it, there is a lack of give. This makes it easy for the foot and toe to sustain an injury.

The big toe ligament is sprained. The jamming or pushing off of the toes repeatedly makes the injury difficult to overcome and possibly reoccur.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of the toe injury include swelling, pain, and a lack of movement with the toe. When the injury occurs, you may feel a “pop” in the foot.

How to treat turf toe?

The injury can be treated using the RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Players should take time off from playing. Resting the foot and toes is important. Continuing to play can cause further injury to the foot and toe. Broken bones or damaged metatarsal bones can occur. Along with the RICE treatment, ibuprofen can be used to take away the toe’s swelling.

Turf toe can be a common injury for footballers due to overuse. Knowing the injury and how to treat it can help you overcome it when it occurs.

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