Tuesday, 29 November 2022 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Turf Toe

A condition commonly known as turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments on the underside of the joint of the big toe. It is common to football players and runners who push off the big toe in a burst of energy when preparing to run. It is also common among dancers, gymnasts, and wrestlers. The injury occurs when the big toe is bent more than 90 degrees as the heel is raised off the ground. Picture a runner who is ready to push off the ground in a race, or a football lineman waiting for the quarterback’s signal. The severity of the sprain will indicate the amount of pain involved. A mild sprain causes pain and swelling that can last a week or two. A moderate sprain may last more than a couple of weeks. A severe turf toe sprain involves a complete rupture of the ligament on the sole of the foot and is quite rare. This injury will take longer to heal. If you believe you have sustained a turf toe injury, it is a good idea to visit a podiatrist for immediate and thorough treatment.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center, PC. Our practitioners can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Gainesville and Dulles, VA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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