Turf toe is a common term used to describe a sprain or injury to the joint at the base of the big toe. It often occurs in athletes who play on artificial turf surfaces, hence the name “turf toe.” However, it can also occur on other playing surfaces or in everyday activities.
Turf toe typically happens when the big toe is hyperextended, or bent too far backward, beyond its normal range of motion. This can happen when a person lands on the foot awkwardly or with too much force, causing damage to the ligaments, tendons, and joint capsule of the big toe.
Symptoms of turf toe may include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the big toe joint, difficulty bending or moving the toe, and tenderness around the base of the toe.
Treatment for turf toe usually involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation, as well as anti-inflammatory medication or physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
What is often used in those with ongoing issues with turf toe is to use rigid carbon plate insoles. These are flat carbon plates that are only about 1mm thick and very rigid. These rigid plates work for turf toe symptoms because they are rigid that they prevent or restrict movement at the first metatarsophalangeal joint.