Footwear Matters for Turf Toe Recovery

Texas is known for football, and like any truly Texan town, Pleasanton has its own teams for all ages. From the Pleasanton Eagles to the youth league Brush Country Rattlers, children and students are hitting fields to play football. With so many hard impacts in the sport, of course, students are at risk for injuries like turf toe, which requires invested care to be able to return to the game without pain. You don’t have to play football to hurt your big toe, though—and you still need to take care of it to recover.

Turf toe is a sprain in the ligaments stabilizing the first joint of the big toe. It happens when the digit is bent backwards too far. Then it hurts, swells, and becomes difficult to move. When the injury initially happens, you need to treat it promptly with the RICE method: rest, ice, compress, and elevate. This helps reduce swelling and inflammation so the injury can begin healing. However, the shoes you wear after the injury matter for your recovery, too.

Footwear helps stabilize and protect your feet. It can actually control how much your toe is able to bend when you put pressure on it. Flexible soles allow it to bend quite far, which isn’t good when you have a sprain. Unrestricted motion can compound the damage and cause pain. Stiff soles, however, prevent your foot from bending very much at the ball of the foot. This limits the motion, allowing the sprain to heal safely.

When you’re recovering from your turf toe, wear stiff-soled shoes throughout the day so your foot won’t bend too much and aggravate your condition. Avoid all soft soles or shoes that would put extra pressure on the ball of your foot, like high heels. If shoe changes are not enough, you may need a splint to wear as well. Severe sprains may need a special walking boot or cast to immobilize the joint.

Don’t underestimate your injury, or how footwear can help it heal. Taking care of your condition now helps you avoid complications later. Let Dr. Darren Silvester and the Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic team help you come back from any sprain. Call (830) 569-3338 or use our website to make an appointment with us at our Pleasanton office.


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