Got Turf Toe? Treatment as Close as Your Hot Tub
Hot tub sessions can be part of a swell-reduction approach to ease the pain. Your hot tub can help in the healing of “turf toe,” the painful sprain that affects many people beyond the football field where the condition got its name.
Turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint, which works primarily as a hinge to permit up and down motion. Just behind the big toe joint in the ball of your foot are two pea-shaped bones embedded in the tendon that moves your big toe. Called sesamoids, these bones work like a pulley for the tendon and provide leverage when you walk or run. They also absorb the weight that presses on the ball of the foot.
Any high-speed, sharp-angle movement can hyperextend the toe joint, stretching or tearing the ligaments, especially if your shoes don’t give enough support or high heels keep pressure on the joint. The condition especially affects people older than 50, in addition to athletes like Chicago Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose, who missed three games because of the pain.
Typically with turf toe, the injury is sudden. Its most commonly is seen in athletes playing on artificial surfaces, which are harder than grass surfaces and to which cleats are more likely to stick. It can also happen on a grass surface, especially if the shoe being worn doesn’t provide adequate support for the foot. Often the injury occurs in athletes wearing flexible soccer-style shoes that let the foot bend too far forward.
Home treatment is usually enough for mild or moderate cases, according to Dr. Johanna S. Younger, a podiatrist, in Bottom Line Personal’s “Sprained Toe: Common Problem, Simple Solution.” If home remedies, including rest and anti-inflammatory painkillers, bring some improvement every day, the pain should end in a week or so.
One key tactic for dealing with turf toe, like any other joint sprain, is alternating heat and cold to reduce swelling. That’s where your Hot Spring Spa comes in. Apply cold packs or ice to the joint for 15 or 20 minutes, and then warm up in the water. You can repeat this combination as often as you like.
Of course, you’ll also get the benefits of a soothing spa soak all over.