A sprained toe is a common condition characterized by damage or tearing of the connective tissue (which include ligaments, cartilage) of one or more toe joints.
Each of the feet toes (except the big toe) contains 3 small bones called phalanges. The big toe is composed of two phalanges. Each of the toe joints comprises of strong connective tissue wrapping around the bony ends and cartilage which lies between the joint surfaces.
During certain actions of the feet, stretching or compression forces are placed on the toe joints. If those forces are more because of too much repetition or high force, damage to the joints might also arise. This can also harm the cartilage or tear into the connective tissue surrounding the joint. When this takes place, the situation is known as a sprained toe and can affect one or more IP or MTP joints. The large toe is the most commonly affected, especially on the MTP joint. This condition is referred to as a primary metatarsophalangeal joint sprain.