Turf Toe: How Athletes Deal With It and How You Can Too

Turf Toe: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


  • Toe planted on the ground and your heel raised
  • Applying a force on the toe can makes it angle upwards more than it should
  • Pushing off from a sprint and your toe gets stuck on the ground


  • Swelling in front of your foot
  • Bruising in front of your foot
  • Pain in the front of your foot, especially tenderness to the touch
  • Inability to bend your big toe down
  • A loose toe joint that dislocates
  • Inability to put weight on your toe


  • Rest from the activity that caused the injury
  • Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day
  • Use an elastic compression band to help prevent additional swelling
  • Elevate your leg to limit swelling
  • Take over the counter pain medicine

What Is Turf Toe and Why Do So Many Athletes Get It?

A turf toe is a sprain of the largest joint of your big toe. It occurs when your toe forcefully bends upwards, such as when you push off into a sprint. So many Athletes get turf toe because of the hard artificial turf as opposed to mre mobile grass.

The outcome of Turf Toe Injuries in NFL Players

The turf toe injuries result in a significant loss of playing time. It takes time to recover from the injury.

How bad is my turf toe?

Turf toe can might be mild or severe depending on the level of injury and should be treated.

Do professional soccer cleats have good toe protection?

Professional soccer players can add good toe protection by using a soccer toe guard, which helps the toe protect from injury. It is a simple toe cap that comes just like a cover that helps to protect your toe.

The Best Turf Toe Exercises – [P]Rehab

Toe curl: place the towel on the ground. Keep your heel on top of the towel and just move the towel by curling your toes.

Toe lift and spread. Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your toes, trying to get them all to the same height. When they’re lifted, spread your toes as far apart as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax your toes and lower them back down. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

Toe splay: sit with your feet flat on the floor. Spread your toes apart as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Then relax your toes. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

Why does my big toe hurt in the morning?

You could have ingrown nails which are often ignored by most of us!

Don’t Turf it out! Mobility on Mainway’s team in Burlington, Ontario can assess if you have a mild or severe Turf Toe injury. Call us to make an appointment  289-245-6624.

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