What Is Turf Toe And How Can You Treat It?

Turf toe is an injury to the ligaments around the joint of the big toe (via Verywell Health). It is a common sports injury among athletes who play on artificial turf fields and is often caused by repeatedly jamming the big toe into the ground or hyperextending it. These movements can cause the ligaments near the joint to stretch or tear, resulting in a bruise around the base of the big toe.

Turf toe can be quite painful at first and cause the joint to become stiff and less flexible. This lack of joint flexibility may make it easier for the toe to be injured again in the future. Other common symptoms of turf toe include tenderness, sensitivity, and swelling around the joint and big toe and being unable to move the toe around normally (via Healthline). Turf toe may also cause the toe to make a popping sound when it is hyperextended.

How to treat turf toe

Turf toe can be treated by following the R.I.C.E. method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In other words, don't do anything that may worsen your injury. Staying off your feet and wrapping your toe in bandages to keep it immobilized can improve the healing process and prevent further injury. Icing your big toe will also help lessen the pain and swelling.

Depending on how painful the injury is, you may want to take over the counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen and naproxen, until your toe is healed. Recovery time will depend on the severity of your injury. Turf toe can take anywhere between a few days to a few months to heal. In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend using crutches to help keep your weight off of your toe. However, if the joint or ligaments in your toe are torn or badly damaged, you may need surgery. If you do need surgery, you may need to wear a cast afterwards to allow your toe to properly heal.