The Truth About Hammertoes
Have you noticed or felt an abnormality in one of your toes? Do you have a toe or two that looks slightly raised up or bent? Even if you are in pain or not, these little changes in how your toes look is worth the attention, and it could be an indication of a condition called hammertoes. This is a common toe problem that can be resolved with intentional care. Do not wait until your toes become stuck in this bent position because yes, it can happen. Once it does, you will have a difficult time wearing shoes and then, it can be painful.
What is a Hammertoe?
It is a deformity that may affect the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. When the middle joint of a toe becomes stuck in a bent position, it becomes a hammertoe. It can be caused by a muscle or tendon imbalance in the foot. This condition can also develop if the structure of the foot changes over time. For instance, you sustained a prior injury to your toe, or you have been wearing shoes that squeeze or cramp your toes. It can also be caused by an inherited foot structure. Without the right intervention, hammertoes can become stiff and rigid over time.
Repairing the Damage
Your toes, as little as they are, are unable to function as they used to when the condition worsens. They can be painful, and you will find it difficult to carry out even minor daily tasks. Calluses and corns can also develop from the raised joints that rub against your shoes. Sheldon Nadal, DPM aims to find the source of your pain and work from there, once you consult him. The progression of the deformity should be stopped, and the discomfort you are feeling should be eliminated. How can it be done? The root of the problem should be determined.
Shoes play such a major role in the development of hammertoes, so Sheldon Nadal, DPM will work with you on finding the right shape and style that will help alleviate pressure on your toes. Having a second toe longer than the rest can definitely be a risk factor for this deformity, and if that is to be the case, then we want to make sure that your shoes have adequate room beyond the toe, so it will not be forced into a curled position.
If you have a pre-existing condition or a structural issue with your feet, then you might benefit from custom orthotics to help stabilize and support your feet. They will also minimize the pull on the muscles and tendons in your toes. There are also some simple strengthening and stretching exercises that can work the muscles in your feet. They help counteract any imbalance, so your toes can lay flatter. If your deformity is causing the pain and the conservative methods fail to improve the symptoms, there are surgical options that will address stiff joints and release the tightened tendons if necessary.
Set up an appointment with Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM today! You should not suffer in silence anymore.