The NFL Draft is coming up next month where many athletes’ lives will be drastically changed forever. Coaches and GMs have been watching the new, young talent determining who will be their next super star athlete. Athletes trying out for the NFL have been training on artificial turf at the Colts Stadium in Indianapolis. If young athletes are not used to performing on artificial turf, they can experience new injuries such as turf toe that is not usually associated with natural, grassy terrain.
Turf toe is caused by jamming the big toe joint after over-extending the joint during sudden forced moves. It most commonly happens on artificial turf because it is an unforgiving surface that does not absorb pressure or shock like natural grass or dirt terrain. Athlete’s usually experience immediate pain in the big toe joint during practices or games and may later notice swelling, redness or bruising. Repeated jamming of the big toe joint causes injury not only to the joint but also to the ligaments and capsule surrounding the joint. This combination of injury to the soft tissue and the joint can lead to the development of arthritis which will inhibit normal propulsion of the big toe during walking or running.
Treatment for turf toe includes rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and use of orthotics. Advanced treatment for cases of recurrent turf toe includes laser therapy, prolotherapy, and surgery. Decreasing inflammation, strengthening the soft tissue around joint and using the proper shoes can help prevent long term damage to the joint.
If you are experiencing pain in the big toe joint and continue to experience pain with sports-related activities, call AdvancedPodiatry at 813-875-0555 and let one of our doctors help alleviate your pain! Don’t let your big toe joint pain keep you from the sports you love to play!