Got turf toe?
By Jeremiah Pacheco
Turf toe is a common injury amongst athletes in various sports. Turf toe can occur at any point in time when the forefoot is planted on the ground, heel is raised, and force is applied on the big toe which causes hyperextension. It is especially more frequent on athletes that play on artificial fields because unlike grass fields, turf fields are hard and less shock absorbent which, in turn, makes it easier to sprain the toe. To put it simply, turf toe is a sprain on the main joint of the big toe. The injury can vary in severity. Sometimes athletes can get lucky and the sprain their toe for only a few days. However, depending on how badly you sprain it, it could be a career ending injury.
When the big toe gets sprained, it is often from excessive stress pressed on the toe while placed on a hard surface such as artificial grass. The common symptoms are bruising, swelling, sharp pain, and inability to move or flex your toe. The best thing to do if you think you got turf toe is ice. Ice will decrease the swelling and bruising. Although ice may hurt the first few minutes it’s better to use it often for the next few days rather than the sprain becoming worse. If you do sprain your toe you should frequently rest it, ice it, compress it, and elevate it. Or the RICE method. Do not apply any force on the toe if you do not have to and try to rest it for two weeks. If the toe remains painful and still has bruising and swelling after those two weeks, a doctor’s visit should be considered because it may be a more serious version of turf toe.