Hammer Toes

If your toes appear crooked or bent downward you may be suffering from hammer toes, mallet toes or claw toes. These three toe deformities result in shortening of the toe tendons thereby limiting toe motion, and causing claw-shaped toes and painful rubbing inside shoes.

Symptoms

A hammer toe feature’s an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes. Moving the affected toe may be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can result from the toe rubbing against the inside of your shoes.

Causes

  • High-heeled shoes or footwear that’s too tight in the toe box can crowd your toes into a space in which they can’t lie flat
  • If you have had an injury in which you stub, jam or break a toe can make it more likely for that digit to develop hammer toe
  • Abnormal balance of the toe muscles this imbalance leads to instability, which can cause the toe to contract
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage

Treatment

  • Comfortable footwear with a deep toe box
  • Orthotics to relieve pressure and pain
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen your toe muscles
  • Gel toe covers

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