What do Russell Okung of the Seattle Seahawks, Rashard Mendenhall of the Arizona Cardinals, and Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings all have in common? They are professional football players who’ve had their season interrupted by turf toe this year. They all play different positions for very different teams, but the result of the injury is the same: damage to the first joint of the big toe and some forced time off to recover.

Pro football players are some of the roughest, toughest guys out there. You would have to be in order to strap on pounds of padding and forcefully collide with opposing players for a game. But even these guys and their trainers know just how necessary the big toe is to be able to run and play effectively. When something happens to hyperextend that joint, the connective tissues become strained and can even tear. Even if the injury doesn’t start out serious, the weakness that results takes a toll. Rashard Mendenhall saw how it affected his game when he tried to play through the pain before taking time off. The injury made running much harder, and his game statistics reflected it.

You don’t have to play professional football—or even football at all—to get turf toe. Any forceful activity, including other sports, can overextend the first metatarsal joint and cause the condition. If you feel a sharp pain in the ball of your foot when you forcefully push off the ground and find walking becomes difficult, don’t ignore the pain or try to tough it out. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas for an appointment or more information and take care of your foot before the problem gets worse. Visit our online contact page or call (702) 839-2010 to reach us.

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