Every now and then you hear about an athlete—usually a football player—dealing with turf toe. Panthers’ safety Roman Harper, for example, was held out for a pre-season game with the condition (though fortunately he didn’t miss any regular season games).

Turf toe isn’t limited to pro athletes, though. This injury, essentially a sprained big toe, can happen to active individuals of all ages and skill levels. If it happens to you, here are some turf toe recovery tips to aid your healing process and get you back to full speed as quickly as possible:

  • In the acute stages—the first few days after injury—follow RICE protocols. That means resting (taking weight off the foot), using ice and light compression to reduce swelling, and elevating your foot above heart level as much as possible.
  • Once the swelling is controlled, we’ll be able to help you set up a good rehab routine. For minor and medium-grade sprains, “buddy taping” your toe to its neighbor will help restrict harmful motion and allow the joint to heal, especially as you begin rehab exercises.
  • Get a good pair of shoes with stiff insoles. Flimsy, flexible shoes force the toe to bend with every single step; you want to limit movement as much as possible.
  • Don’t rush back to the field too soon. Most people don’t follow this advice—no one likes to stay away from the game for long—but chronic injuries can develop if you push too hard too fast. Even first-time injuries may need a couple of weeks of rest (or more) before we can approve a return to strenuous or competitive activity. Trust your doctor on this—you don’t want to be dealing with chronic pain for years to come.

When a sprain befalls your big toe, trust Carolina Podiatry Group to provide pro-quality turf toe recovery care. We’ll evaluate the severity of your condition and help you draw up the right rehab plan, including any taping, shoe modifications, or exercises that may be needed. Most cases don’t require surgery, fortunately, though we can help you with that, too, should it be necessary. Give us a call today at 803-285-1411 or toll-free at 888-569-9559 to set up your appointment in Lancaster, Rock Hill, or Indian Land, SC.

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