Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint.
Typically the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping. Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.
Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:
Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint
If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment, including:
Ice the injury
Apply a compression bandage
Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending
For more severe cases of turf toe, visit our office for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes a range of motion and joint stability tests.
Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment, you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and return to your favorite sport or activity!
When your feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pain in other areas of the body, such as the knees, hips and back. Even the slightest changes from the norm, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.
If you’re an athlete, many sports-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries. As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.
It’s important that athletes visit their podiatrist for a thorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including foot discomfort, poor balance or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run. A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition.
Many sports injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems, including:
Calluses and corns
Once our practice has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles
Orthotic devices are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort
Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or a weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sporting activity. Not only will your performance improve, but you’ll significantly reduce your chance of injuring yourself again. So do the right thing for your body and contact your podiatrist today!
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch collapses. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit our practice for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor mechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the alignment of your foot helps normalize posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
Choose the Right Shoes!
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Prevent foot complications from happening to you.
If you have diabetes, it’s important that you focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Our Prosper and McKinney, TX, podiatrists are here to tell you the best ways to keep your feet healthy and complication-free.
Perform Self-Exams on Your Feet
Every day you should take some time to inspect the health of your feet. You should check for open wounds, sores, ulcers, redness, swelling, or any other changes that could quickly turn from something minor to something more serious.
By inspecting your feet every day you are more likely to be able to detect issues early on when you can quickly turn to our Prosper and McKinney foot doctors for care. These self-exams could protect you from infection or other complications.
Avoid Hot Water
A lot of people with diabetes also have some degree of nerve damage in their feet. Regardless of whether you are going to soak in the tub or take a quick shower, it’s important that you use lukewarm and not hot water. Those with nerve damage in their feet can’t often tell how hot or cold the water is. If the water is too hot you could end up burning your feet.
Trim Nails Properly
Keeping toenails trimmed is important but so is how you trim your nails. If you don’t have the proper technique you may end up with an ingrown toenail or an injury. If you have trouble trimming your toenails yourself then you can also turn to a podiatrist to do this for you. If you can trim your toenails yourself make sure not to trim them too short and that you trim them straight across and not at an angle.
Always Wear Shoes and Socks
No matter whether you are out and about or in the comfort of your own home you should always wear shoes and socks to protect your feet. While it might sound like an odd piece of advice to wear shoes and socks at home, if you have nerve damage you could end up injuring your feet and not even noticing. And it’s amazing how quickly a cut or injury to the foot can become more serious quickly if you have diabetes.
Advanced Foot and Ankle Center offers comprehensive foot care services in McKinney and Prosper, TX. If you have questions about caring for your diabetic feet don’t hesitate to call us today.
Following an ankle injury or ankle surgery, you’ll inevitably lose some strength and range of motion from being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility, and even lead to another injury. So what can you do to strengthen your ankle and get back to your old self again?
Strengthening Your Ankle
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if your treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of reinjury. These include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle, which help loosen stiff ankles, and stretching exercises for the calf muscles, which help decrease your risk of hurting your ankle again. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful. Pain is most certainly not gain when it comes to physical therapy!
Choosing the Right Shoes
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury. Stay off high heels or flats and flip flops without support until your ankle is completely mended.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult your podiatrist if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens and before starting any new exercise program.
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