Patients who have a medical condition known as hammertoe are familiar with the deformity of the second toe overlapping the third or big toe. It is considered to be a muscle imbalance, and it can be caused from a variety of factors. These can include genetic traits, having a history of toe injuries, or wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. The toe muscles can gradually become weaker, and the toe may become difficult to straighten out. Some patients find relief in performing specific exercises that are designed to strengthen the toes. These can include picking up items off the floor with the toes, and practicing overall foot stretches. For severe cases of hammertoe, surgery may be a viable option to permanently straighten the toes. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can advise you on the proper treatment options that are correct for you.
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 offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?