Upon your arrival to your first physical therapy appointment, you will undergo an examination to determine the severity of your injury as well as to identify any lower leg functional weaknesses or loss of range of motion. Most turf toe injuries do not require surgery and are treated with physical therapy. The treatment depends on the severity of the injury.
- To treat a Grade 1 injury, your physical therapist may use narrow athletic tape to immobilize your big toe with your second toe to restrict painful motion. Your physical therapist may also place a firm insert in your shoe to limit motion and promote healing. In many cases, an athlete may be able to return to sport soon after a Grade 1 injury.
- Treating Grade 2 injuries may require immobilizing the foot in a brace or walking boot, and allowing several weeks of rest.
- Treatment of Grade 3 injuries is dependent on the severity of the damage to the structures of the foot. Surgery may be required if there is a fracture of a bone, damage to the cartilage, a complete tearing of the tendon, or excessive movement of the joint that causes repetitive instability
In each case, your physical therapist will work with you to design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your condition and your goals. Treatment may include:
Range of Motion Exercises – It is important to regain a full range of motion of your big toe. Your physical therapist will teach you gentle stretching exercises to help regain motion.
Muscle Strengthening – It is common to lose strength in the muscles of your leg, particularly around your foot and ankle after a turf toe injury due to the limited weight-bearing and activity that is required to allow the injury to heal. Your physical therapist will determine which muscles are weak and teach you specific exercises to treat them, such as strengthening with resistance bands, balance activities, and functional activities, like stair climbing.
Manual Therapy – Many physical therapists use manual (hands-on) therapy to gently move muscles and joints to improve their motion. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own.
Patient Education – Your physical therapist will educate you on the dos and don’ts following turf toe injury to ensure that your recovery is a smooth one. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop an individualized rehabilitation program with goals for your return to full activity.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.
If you are having foot pain or have been diagnosed with Turf Toe, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022