Health Tips & Blogs
Posts for: August, 2012
Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.
This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint. Typically with turf toe the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping.
Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:
- Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
- Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
- Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint
If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment.
- Ice the injury
- Apply a compression bandage
- Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
- Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending
For more severe cases of turf toe, visit Precision Foot and Ankle Center for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A San Pedro podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes range of motion and joint stability tests.
Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and regain your full range of motion in order to return to your favorite sport or activity.
Biomechanics involve how the movements of your lower limbs and feet affect the rest of your body. When the feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pains in other areas of the body beside your foot, such as the knees, hips and back. Even the slightest changes, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.
If you’re an athlete, many sport-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries. As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.
It’s important that athletes visit their Torrance podiatrist for athorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including footdiscomfort, poor balance, or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run. A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition.
Many sport injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems including:
- Sprained ankles
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Shin splints
- Calluses and corns
- Plantar fasciitis
Once Precision Foot and Ankle Centers has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet back to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
- Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles
- Orthotic devices that are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort
- Footwear modifications
Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or the weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sport activity. Not only will performance improve, but injuries will also be significantly reduced with proper treatment.