Hammer Toes: What Is It and Can I Do Anything About It?

Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes are a common foot condition that can be painful and difficult to live with.

If you have Hammer Toes, it means your second, third or fourth toe is bent downwards towards the floor.

The cause of this condition is often unknown but may occur through repetitive trauma to the toe joint following excessive pressure applied to the forefoot during walking or running.

This deformity may also be related to changes in muscle balance and foot structure. One should not confuse Hammer Toes with claw toes which are caused by loss of joint mobility similar to arthritis in other joints.

There are many ways you can treat your hammertoe including wearing shoes that provide extra room for your feet, using custom orthotics (shoe inserts)

and performing specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. Surgery may also be an option if conservative treatments do not work.

If you are experiencing pain from your hammertoe, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can often prevent the condition from getting worse.

Hammer Toes: What Is It and Can I Do Anything About It?- Quick Summery

 

1. What are Hammer Toes?

Hammer Toes are a condition that causes the toe to bend downwards at the proximal joint (near the end), giving it a hammer-like appearance. Hammer Toes can often be painful and difficult to live with.

The cause of this condition is often unknown but may occur through repetitive trauma to the toe joint following excessive pressure applied to the forefoot during walking or running.

This deformity may also be related to changes in muscle balance and foot structure. One should not confuse Hammer Toes with claw toes which are caused by loss of joint mobility similar to arthritis in other joints.

2. Symptoms of Hammer Toes

The symptoms of Hammer Toes can vary depending on the severity of the condition. common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty wearing shoes. The toe may also become stiff and difficult to move.

3. Causes of Hammer Toes

The cause of Hammer Toes is often unknown but may occur through repetitive trauma to the toe joint following excessive pressure applied to the forefoot during walking or running.

This deformity may also be related to changes in muscle balance and foot structure.

4. Treatment Options for Hammer Toes

There are many ways you can treat your hammertoe including wearing shoes that provide extra room for your feet, using custom orthotics (shoe inserts), and performing specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. Surgery may also be an option if conservative treatments do not work.

5. When to Seek Help for Hammer Toes

If you are experiencing pain from your hammertoe, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can often prevent the condition from getting worse.

6. Hammer Toe Prevention Tips

There are some preventative measures you can take to help avoid getting or worsening Hammer Toes.

Wearing supportive footwear with plenty of toe room, avoiding wearing high heels, and adding cushioning to the ball of your foot (next to your big toe) can all help reduce stress on the toes. Be sure not to wear shoes that crowd the toes together.

7. Common FAQs about Hammer Toes

Here are some of the most common questions people have about Hammer Toes.

If you have any other questions, be sure to speak with your podiatrist.

Q: What is the difference between a hammertoe and a claw toe?

A: Claw toes are caused by loss of joint mobility similar to arthritis in other joints. This leads to the toes bending downwards at the middle joint instead of the proximal joint (near the end).

Q: Are hammertoes hereditary?

A: It is not clear whether Hammer Toes are hereditary or not. Some people may be more predisposed to developing Hammer Toes due to their foot structure, but the cause is often unknown.

Q: What should I do if I have Hammer Toes?

A: If you are experiencing pain from your hammertoe, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can often prevent the condition from getting worse.

Q: Can I fix Hammer Toes myself?

A: No, it is best to see a podiatrist for treatment of your hammertoe. Many options can help you.

Q: How do I know if I have Hammer Toes?

A: Some common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness and difficulty wearing shoes. The toe may also become stiff and difficult to move. You should speak with your podiatrist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Q: Can I still wear high heels if I have Hammer Toes?

A: You can still wear high heels, but it is important to choose a style that provides extra room for your feet.

You may also want to consider using custom orthotics (shoe inserts) to help keep your feet in a more comfortable position.

Hammer Toes are a deformity of the second, third or fourth toe where the proximal joint (near the end) is bent downwards towards the floor, giving it a ‘hammer like’ appearance.

The cause of this condition is often unknown but may occur through repetitive trauma to the toe joint following excessive pressure applied to the forefoot during walking or running.

Q: How do I prevent Hammer Toes?

A: There are some preventative measures you can take to help avoid getting or worsening Hammer Toes.

Wearing supportive footwear with plenty of toe room, avoiding wearing high heels and adding cushioning to the ball of your foot (next to your big toe) can all help reduce stress on the toes.

Conclusion:

Hammer Toes are a deformity of the toe where the proximal joint (near the end) is bent downwards towards the floor, giving it a ‘hammer like’ appearance.

The cause of this condition is often unknown but may occur through repetitive trauma to the toe joint following excessive pressure applied to the forefoot during walking or running.

This deformity may also be related to changes in muscle balance and foot structure. Treatment options for Hammer Toes include wearing shoes that provide extra room for your feet, using custom orthotics (shoe inserts), and performing specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet.

Surgery may also be an option if conservative treatments do not work.

Resources:

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* http://www.webmd.com/aarp/condition-guide_2/condition-detail?condition=hammertoe

* https://www.podiatrytoday.com/foot-health/103031-hammertoe

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