Hammertoe is a foot condition that curls a toe downward instead of straight forward. This abnormal malformation can be scary to encounter, and physically unpleasant to live with. The good news is that it is fairly preventable and, if properly treated, doesn’t have to be permanent.
Most commonly, the second or third toe is affected, but this condition can happen to any toe. Hammertoe usually starts as a mild deformity but, if left untreated, it can become extremely painful and lead to further foot problems. In more serious cases, surgery is often needed to relieve the discomfort.
So what happens to your body to make your foot take on this unnatural shape? Hammertoe affects the joint in the middle of the toe and occurs when toe muscles become out of sync with one another. Oppositely, in a healthy foot toe muscles work together in order for the joint to properly function.
What to do if you have hammertoe?
First and foremost, it is important to see a podiatrist or a medical professional. He or she will undoubtedly recommend that you reconsider your choice in footwear. Switch to models that have roomier fronts and feature more depth to prevent pinching or rubbing; brands like Vionic/Orthaheel and Klogs grant you plenty of room without sacrificing feminine styles. Also talk to your doctor about recommended inserts for your shoes.
It may also be advocated that you do strengthening exercises, like holding small items between your toes. It is also not completely unheard of to receive surgery. Fortunately, if you take the right corrective measures hammertoe should go away.
Popular Relief Products
Orthotic Shop carries a number of premium products that help manage the pain and discomfort from hammertoe:
The following are the three main causes of hammertoe:
Listed below are some of the most common hammertoe symptoms: