Turf Toe Tips????

I’ve had Turf Toe in the past and used the “do nothing” approach and sat out on a lot of training, but I do not have that same luxury this time around. I am wondering if anyone has any unconventional methods or treatments for preventing further damage while participating in a demanding offseason workout program.

I’ve tried orthotics and they seem to hurt my sesamoid more than help my toe. Any suggestions are appreciated.


Doing some soleus work may have some positive benefits. This may help to strengthen the MTP joint in the foot.


sorry but do you have any soleus work ideas ?? i’m an athlete not a trainer and i dont really know anything to work that area.

I’ve read that the seated calf raise isolates the soleus.


Yes, seated calf raises are soleus work. Be conscious of the soleus’s fiber composition. In most individuals it’s very slow-twitch, endurance fiber so perhaps just training the soleus once per week may help (2-4 Sets of 18-24 repetitions at normal rep speed) so as to avoid any unnecessary fiber conversion. Basically do your best to limit the amount of direct calf work you do, especially seated calf work. Also make sure to not extend the ankle until you are on the toe, just push with the ball of the foot. Take a look at some of the other exercises you are doing as well. For example, on lunges if you do not put all (most) of your weight on the forward leg and you keep pressure on the back leg you force the toe into flexion and stress the joint cartilage. Just something to think about.

Thanks i’ll try out those ideas. I stayed away from lunges all together for a while but i find myself straining my toe almost everytime I either do a lunge or split jumps. But i’ll be a little more conscientious with those types of lifts.


i checked out that discussion a while ago but i was hoping someone might have any further ideas or suggestions for treatment. Thanks though.

I’ve had problems with my feet in the past and I haven’t felt any pains since doing cold baths. You could just put your feet in a bucket of ice post-workout.

Davs25, give me more details on mechanism of injury, sport injured in, MRI, treatment, when injury occured, age, weight, height, activity level now, etc… I’ll be happy to help.

I’m 5’11’’ 225 lbs and i play 1AA football, right now im in an extremely high level of offseason workouts where i’m training on a hardwood basketball court a few times a week with alot of change of direction and agility work along with numerous 300 yard shuttles. Basically stop and start is common and that is one of the more painful types for my toe.

I first got tagged with this injury in Aug. 2002 about 2 days before preseason camp started.  I was training on Turf doign a mirror drill backpeddling and went to plant to come forward and my whole foot just shot up in pain.  I cracked the sesamoid and broke the capsule of the ligament on top of my foot holding the big toe to the foot.  

If you need any further detail let me know, and thanks for the help.

From your brief history it reads like your pain may be due more to the fractured sesmoid bone rather than a true “turf toe” injury. A “true” turf toe injury would feel better with a properly fitted orthotic or tape maneuver because it limits motion of the great toe. Have you had recent x-rays? That would tell the extent of any osteoarthritis or presence of osteophytes. Your pain reads like you may have osteophytes due to the calcification of the sesmoid bone. Ask your ATC to make you a felt pad thats is taped to your metatarsal heads to take your bodyweight off your great toe and onto the other metatarsal heads. A custom orthotic can be made so you don’t have to be taped every day. A DIAA should be able to get that for you with no problem. If there is osteophytes or osteoarthritis surgical intervention may be neccessary to “clean things up” and preserve the joint as long as possible. Keep in touch.


Thomas, i just saw a podiatrist and my xrays showed i have a fractured sesamoid, so he gave me a cortizone shot and we’re gonna try some orthotics. pretty accurate diagnosis on your end. thanks alot.


Davs25, does the doctor think this was an old non-union fracture from the initial injury or is a new fracture? Keep me updated.


Thomas, i think it was an old injury reaggrevated. i remember from my old xrays the sesamoid looked similar to what it does now. the doctor said his therapy methods would be the same if it was new or old so the bone scan he said wasn’t really necessary. cortizone and surgery as a last resort.


Davs, get the old x-ray and compare the two.


THomas, i’d like to compare the two but i’ll have to wait till my next break the x-rays are in mass and im out near philly. i think i have a copy with my trainers but i’m trying not to discuss this injury too much with them for personal reasons. ill get a copy in march when im home.