What is turf toe?
Turf toe is, in simple terms, a sprain of the big toe. Just as an ankle sprain is caused by tearing or damage to the ligaments that align and support your ankle, turf toe is caused by damage to the ligaments supporting the base of the toe. This could be caused by a single serious hyperextension of the toe, or from repeated smaller impacts.
The injury gets its name from its popular association with athletes playing sports on artificial turf, but in truth any sport or activity on any surface that involves lots of running, cutting, jumping, or push-offs (including soccer, basketball, gymnastics, dance, or wrestling) puts you at elevated risk.
With a turf toe injury, it’s important to immediately stop playing, avoid bearing weight on the affected toe, and make an appointment with Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. We don’t want you causing extra damage to the ligaments, and we want to help you heal as quickly and fully as possible so you can get back in the game. Request an appointment online, or give us a call at 512-593-2949 today.
How can I best avoid a sports injury?
There’s no way to protect yourself 100% from a potential sports injury—unfortunately, the risk of getting hurt is a necessary consequence of living a healthy, active lifestyle. However, you can minimize your risk by making smart choices about …
- ... your equipment. Shoes should fit well, be designed for your activity, provide plenty of support and cushioning, and be in good repair. Use orthotics or inserts if you need them. Invest in good protective gear for your sport.
- … your intensity. Don’t go too hard, too fast if you’re starting up a new sport or just getting back into action after a long period on the sidelines. Know your own limits and start slowly, gradually increasing your intensity over time. Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
- … your routine. Whether you’re a rookie or a pro, always take the time to warm up, stretch, and cool down. Mix high-impact and low-impact exercise that target different areas of your body on different days to avoid over-stressing any particular muscles or bones.
If your feet or ankles are aching, please call Dr. Keith McSpadden in Austin, TX for a consultation and treatment. Our staff is passionate about keeping you healthy and active at all stages of life. Request an appointment online, or call 512-593-2949.
Can I still run with shin splints?
Unfortunately, we strongly discourage continuing to run while suffering from a case of shin splints. Because it is an overuse injury, continuing to run will only delay healing or make the problem worse. Your body needs time to heal and repair itself without incurring additional stresses.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to cease all activity. While your feet and legs will need a break from the constant pounding of running, you can switch to forms of low-impact exercise to keep your heart rate and fitness up. Go for a swim, walk, or bike ride instead, or try strength training. Furthermore, once you’re cleared to return to running, you may wish to continue mixing these low-impact activities into your routine while reducing your weekly mileage. This will allow you to cross-train multiple muscle groups and avoid overstressing any one particular area.
If you’re struggling with painful shin splints as a result of running, please contact North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute for an evaluation and discussion of treatment options. You can request an appointment online, or call 512-593-294.