Treating a soccer toe

A soccer toe or “turf toe” involves a severely bruised toe or sprained ligaments in the foot. The injury is caused by repeated impacts against the soccer ball and severe contortion of the ligaments during the game. Soccer toe happens when the ligaments found behind big toe are hyperextended due to falls in the field, repeated collisions on the toe area from kicking and constant running. Soccer toe is the most sore injury that can occur to a soccer player but it can be prevented and treated.

Symptoms of soccer toe

  • Pain
  • Swelling
    Soccer toe

    Take plenty of rest especially the affected toe to prevent worsening of the condition and for fast healing.

  • Limited movement of the joint
  • Sometimes a “pop” can be felt


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected toe to prevent worsening of the condition and for fast healing.
  • Put ice packs on the affected toe immediately after the injury for at least 15-20 minutes several times every day to lessen swelling of the area. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin to prevent further damage and worsening of the condition. Wrap the pack in a small towel or cloth before placing on the area.
  • After applying ice pack, switch to a heat pack for at least 20 minutes. The heat will dilate the blood vessels for increased circulation of blood in the area for fast healing of the condition. After 20 minutes, reapply cold to prevent swelling. Repeat applying alternately ice-heat therapy for several hours to lessen the pain.
  • Use crutches to prevent extra pressure on the affected toe and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Wrap a tape around the injured area of the foot to lessen swelling and support the injured toe and ligaments and lessen strain placed on them. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent disruption in blood flow in the area.
  • If suffering from a severe soccer toe, tape the injured toe to the adjacent toe to prevent unnecessary movement of the affected area.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to lessen swelling and pain.
  • While recovering from soccer toe, keep the ligaments behind the big toe immobile by wearing a boot or a shoe with a stiff sole to prevent it from unnecessary bending until it is fully healed.


  • Wear properly fitting shoes. Avoid those that are too small which does not absorb shock to the feet.
  • Wear an athletic shoe with a stiff sole to prevent hyperextension of the ligament. It also cushions the toes of the player from contact with the soccer ball.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some training techniques to lessen the chance of injuries.


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