What You Can Do About a Hammertoe
Do you have painful bent toes? This foot condition is also known as ‘hammertoe’. To learn more about it, read on…
How They Form
A hammertoe can be a misshapen second, third or fourth toe. What happens is that the toe bends up at the middle joint. The toe becomes a ‘hammertoe’ because a muscle in the toe is not functioning properly, or is too weak. There might be increased pressure on the tendons and the toe joints. Muscles normally work in twos to be able to bend and straighten toes. If the toe stays bent for too long, it is likely that a hammertoe develops.
Shoes that are ill-fitting, injury, arthritis, or heredity can cause the hammertoe to form. Corns and calluses also commonly develop on top of hammertoes because the toe rubs against the shoe.
How to Relieve the Pain
To keep your hammertoes more comfortable, you can start by replacing your tight, pointy shoes with a pair that has plenty of room in the toes area. It is best to skip the high heels for now in favour of low-heeled shoes – this takes pressure off your toes.
When buying shoes, keep in mind that there should at least be one-half inch between your longest toe and the tip of your shoes. If in case you don’t want to go out and buy new shoes, you should try to see if your local shoe repair shop can stretch your current shoes, making it more accommodating for your hammertoe.
How to Prevent Hammertoes
In order to prevent the development of hammertoes, never squeeze your toes into your shoes – doing so forces them to bend unnaturally. Those tendons will eventually tighten up and leave a permanent, claw-like bend in your toes. It is best to slip your feet into soft, roomy shoes that can easily accommodate all of your toes.
Stretching your toes can help keep the tendons relaxed, preventing a hammertoe. You can use your hands to gently straighten and stretch your toes. You can also try to pick up objects with your toes (grab something from the floor, etc.).
When to See a Podiatrist
Despite all your efforts to prevent the development of hammertoes or relieving their symptoms, there are cases that require you to see a podiatrist. When these home-based prevention measures don’t work to make your toe feel better, then set up an appointment with Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM for your problem to be fixed.
Surgical intervention is required to correct hammertoes. Once Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM determines the cause of the hammertoe, then he can also determine the appropriate treatment.