Turf Toe And Soccer Players: How Physical Therapy Can Help

Soccer players are very active athletes that play a demanding support. Being on their feet all the time increases the risk of developing a problem known as turf toe. Dealing with this often requires the use of physical therapy treatments.

Turf Toe Can Strike Soccer Players

Turf toe is a strain that occurs in athletes when their foot hits hard on the surface of the turf and bends too far. When this happens, the toe sprains and suffers damage to the ligaments. Soccer players are particularly at risk for developing this due to the number of miles they run: a typical player runs nearly 10 miles every game. Typically, turf toe in a soccer player should disappear in a few weeks if they stay off their feet and avoid playing or practicing while their toe heals.

There Are Several Treatments Available

Before turning to regular physical therapy services, soccer players can instead turn to activities such as range of motion or yoga, to help increase the flexibility and strength in their toe. For many players, it might not be necessary if the injury is in a toe that doesn't bear a lot of weight.

However, a sprained big toe is problematic because soccer players need to juke off of it and use it to kick. While basic pain medications and light movement exercises may be enough to manage the pain of a sprained toe, soccer players may have hurt themselves more than they realized and could need physical therapy.

When Physical Therapy Is Necessary

Soccer players with turf toe should get physical therapy if the toe doesn't stop hurting after a few weeks or if the pain gets worse as they have gout or a broken toe. Gout is a more serious joint problem that can often be easily confused for a sprained toe. It is characterized by severe pain that won't go away or which worsens over time. The pain is somewhat similar to that which is felt by those who have arthritis.

In some instances, it may be possible that the toe was actually broken, not sprained. Physical therapy in these instances can help identify the source of the pain and create a treatment method for managing it and helping the player get back on the field.

For the soccer player, recovering from gout or a broken toe is an essential way of staying on the field and playing the game they love. Physical therapy will help them get through this difficult situation with as little pain as possible.