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  • Writer's pictureSaoirse Waldron

Have you Sprained your Big Toe?

Updated: Apr 17

Turf Toe is a sprain of the big toe!

The ligaments and the joint capsule are irritated in the big toe.

It happens after the big toe is repeatedly forced to bend and extend during certain movements.

This condition often occurs with;

  • Footballers using soft sports shoes on astro turf

  • Runners training for distance running

  • Tennis players

  • Hockey players

  • Dancers

  • People who wear High Heels

  • Or anyone who pushes excessively off their toes.

The severity of the injury can range from a mild stretching to a complete rupture of the

capsule and surrounding ligaments.

In some cases, this condition can lead to damage to the muscles that flex the big toe.

It may also be associated with a small bone tear where the muscle attaches.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain and joint stiffness

  • Difficulty with impact activities such as running

  • Swelling around the big toe

  • You feel as if you cannot move or bend your big toe

  • Feels like walking on a pebble


Initial stage

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause significant pain may be necessary.

PRICE - Protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

  • Protect from further injury - wear a flat stiff shoe

  • Rest - light daily activities - no running or sports

  • Ice - ice (do not put ice directly to your skin) ice the bottom of your toe to prevent further swelling, this will help with pain relief

  • Compression - using sports tape, strap your big toe up to stop it bending

  • Elevation - keep your feet rested on a stool for short periods.

However, it is very important to avoid de-conditioning. A return to your activities of daily living, to light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, to joint mobilisation exercises and to strengthening the muscles of the foot and ankle will allow a better recovery. Short-term use of sports taping can sometimes be beneficial.

Book a virtual or in clinic appointment to get you back to yourself quickly.

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