As the summer winds down and gets closer to the start of school, football coaches everywhere are gearing up for their season and expecting their players to get back into playing shape. Naturally, this means conditioning, running, lifting weights, and going over playbooks to get into the swing of things. Jumping right into a sport as strenuous as football has its risks, especially if your teen isn’t well-conditioned. Injuries like turf toe are more common when the feet aren’t prepared or protected. As a contact sport, accidents are more likely as well, which also increases the risk for a sprained big toe. Turf toe may not sound like much, but it can actually keep your football player out of the game and benched for a while.
A sprained big toe, also known as turf toe, develops when the digit suddenly and sharply gets bent backward. This overstretches the ligaments around the toe and bruises the soft tissues in the joint. Like ankle sprains, this big toe injury has different degrees of severity. It can be mild, medium, or severe, depending on the situation and how much damage is in the joint. The reason this can take your football player out of the game for a while, though, is because of how the forefoot works.
The forefoot helps absorb shock, support body weight, and push off the ground again. The big toe is a crucial part of that. Its pressure on the ground not only helps you balance and support weight, but is a powerful and important part of pushing off the ground to walk—and even more so to run or play football. A sprain dramatically weakens the big toe, making it painful and very difficult to push off the ground.
So turf toe sharply limits your teen’s ability to play sports. In a rough activity like football, the kind of weakness and pain a sprained big toe creates can definitely be enough to keep your young athlete sidelined for a while. Don’t take the toes for granted. If your football player is complaining of toe pain, don’t let him ignore it. Contact us at A Step Up Podiatry in Manalapan, NJ, by calling (732) 446-7136 or by using our online form so we can help your teen heal quickly.