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Martin Foot & Ankle

Prevent Turf Toe from Sidelining Your Game

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Stretching before activityThere’s nothing like the thrill of pulling off some highlight reel moves on the field or court. Sure, the reel might only be playing in our minds, but we gotta start somewhere, right? Whether you’re in a league or picking up weekend matches, however, fast feet can be taken out of the game by turf toe if one isn’t careful. Taking some steps to prevent this painful big toe sprain can help provide much more playtime and highlight opportunities.

Turf toe, like any other sprain, happens when the joint of the big toe is forced beyond its normal range of motion. This can happen either by the toe becoming fixed against the ground as a large force is applied to the body (think of a football tackle with the cleat stuck in the turf) or pushing off from the front of the foot too hard.

While it’s impossible to always prevent turf toe from a bad turn or twist of fate, there are ways to reduce the risk of it happening. Many shoes worn for turf are built to be very flexible, lacking in the support that can keep the big toe from bending excessively. Footwear with better support in the toes can be a significant help.

It can also pay to take a look at your gait and wear custom-made orthotics or inserts that will counter any abnormalities and take additional stress off the front of your foot. We can also recommend exercises that can strengthen and condition the joints.

If you would like help preventing turf toe, or need treatment for an injury that has already happened, the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle are here to help. Contact our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz, and York by calling (717) 757-3537.
Dr. Maria Ann Kasper
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