Updated: Jul 30, 2020
When professional or even college athletes get hurt, they immediately begin treatment and rehabilitation. That’s because coaches, trainers, and athletes all know that, in order to successfully return to any activities, an athlete has to really invest in his or her recovery. Rapid treatment and rehabilitation is just as important for you, too, if you want to be able to get back into your own activities without hurting yourself again. This also includes damage to your toes. Turf toe is a big toe sprain that can have chronic side effects without proper treatment and rehab.
Turf toe is the result of your digit being suddenly hyperextended backward and spraining the ligaments and soft tissues in joint at the ball of your foot. Because your big toe is so crucial for pushing off the ground to jump, run, and even just walk, getting it back to full health is necessary for restoring your mobility to normal, much less returning to sports. Turf toe treatment starts with the basic injury care, then moves into full rehabilitation to rebuild the strength and stability in your foot.
Initial turf toe care typically starts with RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—to help alleviate inflammation and swelling. You’ll have to take a break from sports and other activities that cause pain to rest your toe. Icing, compressing, and keeping your joint elevated help combat swelling. As tissues heal, you’ll need to start rehabilitation as well to prevent your digit from growing too stiff.
Rehabilitation exercises will focus on strength building and range of movement. Exactly what exercises you perform will depend on your unique needs. Exercises like toe spreads and massaging your sole with a tennis ball are common, though. You may still need to wear tape around your toe or stiff-sole shoes when you get back into activities to support the joint.
Returning to athletic activities after turf toe, whether just as hobbies or for school or anything else, is a process. You need to invest in your treatment and rehabilitation to make sure your joint and supporting structures are fully healed. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC will help you with every step of the way. Just make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office by calling (504) 708-4810 or by using our online request forms.