If you wear tight shoes that squeeze your toes together, you may be putting yourself at risk for developing a hammertoe. Hammertoes occur when there is an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments which normally work together to hold the toe straight. This imbalance causes an abnormal bend in the toe’s middle joint, making it stick up, therefore the entire toe looks like the head of a hammer. Because the toe joint sticks up abnormally, it can rub against your shoes and cause a painful corn to develop at the site. It is important to seek treatment from a podiatrist as early as possible—before the hammertoe becomes rigid, and when the hammertoe is still flexible enough to be fixed. Your podiatrist may try taping the hammertoe to gently guide it back to its normal position or use toe pads or custom orthotics to cushion it. Some hammertoes may require corrective surgery to straighten it out. Make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as you believe a hammertoe is forming on your foot, so you have a better chance of correcting the deformity.
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.
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 one of our offices located in Bloomington, Bedford, and Washington, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.