Common Turf Toe Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Turf toe symptoms can easily be disregarded, especially by athletes, since they are so common. Yet it is crucial for anyone playing sports to realize when they have turf toe so they can take the necessary precautions to prevent further strain on the toe and thus bring about a more serious injury.

To understand the symptoms of turf toe it is necessary to understand exactly what is turf toe. The condition involves the strain or tears of the tissue in the big toe and appears most frequently among sports players running, sprinting, jumping, or falling on hard surfaces.

For most professional sports players it is usually more of an annoyance than an injury. Professional athletes and especially football, soccer, and tennis players are all susceptible to it.

Doctors normally make the distinction between turf toe, which is actually a strained toe, and other toe issues involving badly cut nails or fungus.


Most Common Turf Toe Symptoms

Turf toe manifests itself most commonly through the following symptoms:

  • Bruised big toe that hurts when touched.
  • Pain whenever the big toe is moved.
  • Strong pain in the injured foot whenever one tries to walk.
  • Swelling of the big toe

If you have two or more of the above symptoms you most likely have a turf toe. You will want to avoid further straining your injured foot and toe for at least a week. If the pain is serious and there is inflammation, you should see your doctor.

Turf Toe Symptoms by Grade

Avid sports players or professional athletes need to know more about the symptoms of turf toe and the grade of the sprain. This is necessary in order to prevent further injury and speed up the recovery process.

Sports players who ignore the common symptoms of the condition and continue to put a strain on their toe and foot can sustain more serious damage.

This damage can lead to extended periods of recovery, and, in rare cases, even to chronic damage.

Grade 1 – Strained or stretched ligaments

Symptoms include pain in the toe and the ball of the foot, which makes it difficult for you to run or sprint, though you should be able to walk more or less normally.

Grade 1 turf toe usually heals by itself in up to 3 weeks, provided that you don’t further strain your big toe and foot. A visit to the doctor is recommended.

Grade 2 – Partly torn ligaments

When your big toe and the ball of your foot become bruised and swollen, and you feel intense pain when you put weight on the foot, you suffer from Grade 2 turf toe.

This is a more serious condition and requires a visit to the doctor. Recovery takes up to three months.

Grade 3 – Torn ligaments with or without joint dislocation

Symptoms are the same as with Grade 2 turf toe, but more pronounced. The pain is greater, as is the bruising and swelling.

Walking becomes extremely painful, and in many cases is not possible at all. Grade 3 turf toe takes at least 6 weeks to heal and in some instances, surgery may be necessary.

In conclusion, you need to understand what turf toe is before assessing symptoms. Once you do that, establish how serious your injury is and seek medical help.

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