What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe is a common sports injury that occurs when the big toe is bent upward, resulting in pain and swelling.


The Causes

Turf Toe gets its name as an injury associated with playing sports on rigid surfaces. Athletic shoes with very flexible soles combined with cleats that grab the turf will cause overextension of the big toe.

Additionally, worn out shoes allow too much freedom of motion in the forefoot area. This lack of support will assist in the transfer of forces from the shoe to the foot, increasing the likelihood of injury. The toe is hyper-extended, causing injury to the toe (Note this can occur on the lesser toes as well.)

While athletes are the most common sufferers, you are also at risk if you have increased range of motion in the ankle or are likely to wear shoes with maximum flexibility.

A variation of “turf” toe can also happen when the nail bed is forced into the cuticle and swelling with isolated pain may occur.

Treatment and Prevention at Foot Solutions

We know that injuring the big toe is very easy to do and quite painful. Treatment for Turf Toe and all grades of sprains includes the common RICE method:

  • Rest -> Ice -> Compression -> Elevation

You should also practise a gentle range of motion exercises as pain allows, bending the toe gently within the limits of pain. As the pain decreases, the amount of motion increases. An orthotic device with a carboplast modification will support the toe along with supportive athletic shoes.

Visit your local Foot Solutions store to see the best selection of orthotic devices and athletic shoes.