Overstretched: Turf Toe Treatment Options

by | Sep 26, 2016 | Sports Injuries

When stretchy materials stretch too far and lose their elasticity, they aren’t able to hold things well. This is true for everything from rubber bands to elastic waistbands in pants to the connective tissues in your body. Your tendons and ligaments have a small degree of stretch to them to help absorb pressure, but when an injury like turf toe stretches them too far, you’re left with a loose joint. Fortunately, turf toe treatment can help you strengthen your big toe again.

Keep in mind, turf toe happens when your big toe is suddenly hyperextended backwards past its normal limits, often in sports. This pinches the soft, protective tissues in the ball of the foot joint and overstretches the connectors around it. Naturally this weakens your ability to push off the ground.

Because this condition doesn’t heal on its own, you need to treat it to both deal with the pain as well as restore your foot’s strength. Fortunately, for the majority of people, taking care of turf toe can be done conservatively. Here are some of the methods that may help:

  • Ice it – Ice decreases inflammation and swelling, both of which flare up in your toe after the injury and cause pain.
  • Stabilize it – You may need to wear a brace or tape the joint to prevent it from bending too far backward while it heals. A stiff-soled shoe may be all you need for a minor injury, but a more severe one might need a special boot or cast.
  • Rest it – Avoid straining your injured foot. This might mean taking a break from certain activities and limiting your walking for a little while.
  • Rehab it – Once the pain is gone, you’ll need therapy to exercise, stretch, and strengthen your digit again, so you restore your joint’s normal range of motion and power.
  • Support it – You might still need to wear stiff-soled shoes to protect your vulnerable joint from hyperextending when you’re active in the future.

The sooner you take care of a condition like turf toe, the easier it tends to be to recover from it. Wait too long and you risk painful complications developing. If your big toe is unstable, let our specialists at The Kansas Foot Center help you identify the problem and treat it today. Contact us through our website, or call us directly at our main office in Wichita at (316) 283-4330.