The metatarsophalangeal joint is the joint that connects the foot to the toes. Injury to the connective tissues in this joint near the big toe is called turf toe. The injury is generally the result of excessive upward bending of the big toe joint. This condition can be caused from either by jamming the toe, or repetitive injury when pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping.
Pain, swelling, and limited joint movement at the base of one big toe are some of the major symptoms off this condition. Symptoms develop slowly and gradually and worsen over time if it’s caused by repetitive injury. If it’s caused by a sudden forceful motion, the injury can be painful immediately and worsen within 24 hours. Sometimes when the injury occurs, a "pop" can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved, and toe movement is limited.
The condition is named after injuries sustained by sportsperson playing on artificial turfs. It is mostly associated with American Football players. When weight falls on the back of the leg while the foot is touching the ground, the toe gets hyper extended and the toe gets injured. This injury can also occur with footballers, tennis players, and taekwondo players who play on artificial turfs.
One should take complete rest during this injury and should abstain for playing any sport as it could aggravate the injury. Exercises recommended by your doctor might help you a lot. Orthotic devices such as splints and bands can aid in the healing process and also serve as a medium of hot and cold therapy.
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