Big Toe – Turf Toe Sioux City
Turf toe is a sprain of the big toe joint and ligaments; it is usually caused by suddenly over-extending the toe. This injury can either be chronic, occurring over time and repeated hyperextensions, or acute, occurring with one significant movement of hyperextension.
Turf toe is common in any sport involving explosive movements, jumping, sprinting, sudden changing of direction, or tackling. In football, the injury occurs when a person is tackled forward but the big toe remains planted against the ground, stretching the joint beyond its normal positions.
Injuries range from very mild sprains producing stiffness, tightness, and mild dull pain, to more significant injuries that produce sharp pain whenever pushing off the big toe or quickly changing directions. Severe toe sprains can make it very difficult to walk or run.The toe might require rest and several weeks off from athletic activity. The injury can last anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on the amount of damage and ligament stretching. Other injuries to the foot can produce similar pain, but the pain is usually located in the arch of the foot or heel.
With rest and time, the sharp, stabbing pain decreases in intensity, frequency, and duration. The sharp pain slowly transitions to dull pain with mild-but-sharp twinges. The toe is usually stiff in the morning, and the pain fluctuates day-to-day. People go through stages where they think they are getting better followed by a few days thinking they have gone backwards. Overall, they are improving; they are just very frustrated by the process.
Diagnosing Turf Toe
Diagnosing turf toe involves a history and description of the injury. Often x-rays will be utilized to rule out fractures that can occur with these types of injuries. An MRI is usually not utilized to evaluate the severity of unless a person does not respond to conservative treatment, rest, icing, and anti-inflammatories.
Treatment of Big Toe Sprains
Home treatment involves resting and icing the toe. Crutches can be utilized in severe cases to reduce the strain on the toe. Good shoes that support the big toe region should be worn during activity to reduce excessive stress and strain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are often prescribed to decrease pain and inflammation. If the injury persists or is severe, medication might be prescribed by your family doctor.
In office, our treatment works to decrease joint pain and inflammation. Prescription orthotics may be created to further protect the toe and foot. If you have suffered from this condition several times, therapeutic exercises may be incorporated to improve your walking gait or reduce excessive strain on the big toe.
Cold laser therapy is another treatment that may be utilized to decrease pain and inflammation in any tendon or ligament sprain. Specific frequencies of the cold laser decrease the amount of inflammatory molecules in injured tissue. In addition, it enhances cellular repair and processes to facilitate healing. It can often speed the recovery time for most joint injuries.
Turf toe can be a very painful condition that limits participation in sports, hobbies, and work activities. With proper rest, ice, and treatment, the condition can be effectively treated to help you get back to being free of pain and enjoying life.