In the simplest terms, turf toe is a sprain of the big toe—it’s the same principle as a sprained ankle, it just affects a different joint. When the toe is hyperextended (either in one big injury or minor stresses repeated over time), the ligaments tear and the result is pain and reduced range of motion.
This common sports injury is frequent among athletes who do a lot of running, jumping, twisting, cutting, or balancing on the balls of their feet—including football running backs, soccer players, basketball players, dancers, gymnasts, etc. The best prevention strategy is to wear shoes that provide adequate support for your activity (inserts or orthotics can help, too) and work with a trainer to improve your mechanics.
If you do sprain your big toe, get off your feet, ice and compress the area to reduce swelling, and give Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. a call at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572. Come see what we can do for your stubborn toe pain.