I sprained my big toe playing soccer. I really want to get back to the game. Is there a splint or something I can wear while still playing?

The base of the big toe or metatarsophalangeal joint (MPJ) is a common spot for soccer injuries. Pushing off the ground, forward drives, and running put this joint at risk for sprains and strains. This can become a chronic problem, especially if it's not treated properly.

Early rehab should include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The doctor often prescribes antiinflammatory drugs during this phase. The joint must be kept protected. Rest helps protect the joint, but taping can also help. Special shoe inserts or shoe adaptations may work, too.

Before returning to your sport, you want to make sure there's no swelling and you have pain free range of motion. After that, sports-specific exercises and drills can be added before returning to competitive play.