What is Turf Toe?
Tuesday, 7 July 2015 | John
Turf toe is a sprain of the main joint of the big toe — the joint is located where the main foot bone ends and the big toe bone begins. When the plantar plate (the piece of tissue that stops the big toe bending too far) becomes stretched, it swells, making it tender and less easy to bend.
At its worst, turf toe can result in the ligaments around the big toe joint being torn, which makes it incredibly painful and difficult to move or even touch the big toe. As the big toe is a vital part of how your foot works, this can seriously immobilise you.
What are the Symptoms of Turf Toe?
The main symptoms of turf toe are pain, tenderness, swelling and bruising in the big toe and the ball of the foot. An inability to "push off" from your big toe can also be a sign of turf toe, due to the swelling making the toe tender and painful. Limited joint movement in your big toe can also be a sign of turf toe, due to the swelling of the joint ligament being painful and stiff.
If the condition was caused by repetitive injury to the toe, then the pain will develop slowly over time, however if it was caused by a sudden injury, then the pain will be immediate and intense, and will worsen over 24 hours. Sometimes when the injury is immediate, you can feel a ‘pop’ from your big toe.
What Can Cause Turf Toe?
The root cause of turf toe is too much weight being put on your big toe, which causes the ligaments to stretch. This can come from several sources; however the most common is as a repetitive sporting injury which worsens over time.
While any sport which involves placing weight on the big toe can lead to turf toe, it most commonly happens when you keep your full weight on your big toe for too long without lifting off. This can be anything from a misjudged step while running or a bad rugby tackle. It most commonly happens on solid, artificial surfaces as they do not offer the flexibility which grass or dirt do — however if your shoe does not offer proper foot support, then it can also happen on grass.
How Can Shoe Insoles Help with Turf Toe?
The right shoe insole can help greatly with turf toe. One of the main ways a shoe insole can help with turf toe is to reduce further strain on the ligaments surrounding the big toe joint, which improves the recovery of the joint and can lessen the pain.
Another way a shoe insole can help with turf toe is to keep the toe from hyper-extending again, lessening the risk of the condition worsening and aiding recovery. Prevention is always better than the cure; shoe insoles can also help prevent turf toe by making sure that the toe stays in the correct position it reduces the risk of it developing or redeveloping.
Please visit the Shoe Insoles website for a full range of Insoles for Turf Toe.