Hammertoes: Causes, Relief & Treatment
A hammer toe is a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. It most often affects the second or third toe.
Although a hammer toe may be present at birth, it usually develops over time due to arthritis or wearing ill-fitting shoes.
Treatment of Hammertoes
In many cases, hammertoe can be successfully treated without surgery if it’s tended to in its early stages while the affected toe is still flexible. Because of this, it is important that you seek treatment at the earliest sign of a developing hammertoe in order to ensure the best outcome. Since hammertoe is a progressive condition that gets worse over time, the earlier you seek treatment, the better.
Wearing Wide Shoes - Wearing shoes that have a wide last design, extra depth and wide & round toe box. This ensures a pressure free environment and allows for maximum toe movement.
Using Orthotics - In addition to stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotic devices can be useful for counteracting muscle imbalances (and preventing future ones from occurring) by repositioning the foot and toes while wearing shoes.
Splinting - Applying splints or tape to the affected toe can help realign it and prevent further bending.
Physical therapy - Stretching and strengthening exercises can be a great first line of defense to help reverse the muscle imbalance that causes a hammertoe.
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