If you have big toe pain, you may be suffering from turf toe. This is a term that refers to the sprain of ligaments near the big toe. It is usually found in people who play sports on artificial turf (hence the name), or people who use their toes to spring off, like runners and soccer players. The injury can occur from the constant jamming motion of toes against the end of shoes, or by a sudden trauma. Pain can be very intense, and you may notice swelling and redness. You will also have limited range-of-motion, which can make walking difficult. Turf toe is best treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, or RICE. You can also immobilize the toe by using tape, a splint, or a boot. After the few weeks it takes to heal, you might be required to undergo physical therapy or wear a special orthotic to protect the toes.
If you have more questions about treating turf toe, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment at one of our three Massachusetts offices.