With the fall weather comes football season – and unfortunately, with football season comes injury. Whether you find yourself at your local football field to cheer on your own football star, cheering on your high school team from the stands, watching the Buckeyes take the field on Saturdays or the Bengals or Browns on Sundays, chances are you’ll hear the expression “turf toe” at one time or another this season. The expression turf toe might lead one to believe that the injury is a minor ailment limited only to those wearing football helmets and jerseys; however, this is not the case. Turf toe often plagues dancers as well, and can actually impact anyone in the right circumstances as it is an injury to the soft tissue around the big toe joint that occurs when the toe is extended beyond its normal range of motion.
Turf toe isn’t a simple injury that pulls a player out of a game or a dancer out of a single performance. It can leave athletes sidelined for weeks in extreme pain.
The good news is that there are a few precautions you could take to limit your risk for turf toe. The number one recommendation is to wear shoes with support to prevent the toe joint from bending too far. Your podiatrist may also be able to recommend or prescribe special inserts for you that will help prevent this.
Particularly if you’ve had more than one battle with turf toe, it may benefit you to consult with a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist to see if there are steps you can take to help correct any problems with your natural gait or develop some ways to help reduce the likelihood of injury.