If you have ever worn narrow, pointed-toe shoes, you may be a candidate to develop hammertoe. The characteristics are a noticeable deformity that affects the middle toes, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The toes may be bent at the middle joint and face downward, giving the appearance of a hammer. The surrounding muscles may become unbalanced, and this may cause difficulty in straightening the toes. This condition may become worse if prompt treatment is not administered, which may consist of performing simple exercises that may strengthen the foot and toes. Research has shown the most common cause of hammertoe is related to incorrect shoes that are worn. Additionally, there may be other reasons why this ailment may develop, including having an elongated second toe, incurring an injury to the toes, or genetic traits may play a significant role. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it’s strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis and to gather information about proper treatment options.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
- Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
- Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe
If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Hammertoe