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All You Need To Know About Hammer Toes
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A ‘hammer toe’ refers to a condition in which the toe has an unusual bend in the middle joint. This could be due to the muscles not being able to hold the toe straight, certain types of shoes, diseases and trauma on the foot. The ligaments and tendons around this part of the foot may also be affected.
Hammer toes have a visible bend on the toe’s middle joint. The second, third and fourth toes are more prone to this condition. Moving the hammer toe can cause severe pain. A hammer toe may remain flexible for some time, but will become permanently bent, if left untreated.
Causes of Hammer Toes
Hammer toes can be caused due to several factors, including the person’s foot structure and the shoes s/he wears. For instance, high heeled shoes and pointed toe shoes or shoes with narrow toe boxes do not allow toes to move freely and lie flat. Consistently wearing such shoes will eventually result in hammer toes. Wear well-designed and well-fitting shoes. Limit wearing high heels as far as possible.
Some diseases may also put you at a higher risk for this condition. Diabetic individuals can easily develop hammer toes. The possibility is also high with people suffering from arthritis.
Trauma to the foot can cause the development of hammer toes. A stub on the toe increases the risk.
Advancing age is also a risk factor, but you can prevent hammer toes by wearing the right shoes. Ask your podiatrist about the best shoes for your feet. Podiatrists may also prescribe custom orthotics to help you avoid hammer toes.
Treatment for Hammer Toes
Changing your footwear to shoes with wide toe boxes can reduce the pain on your hammer toe. They will allow toes to remain flexible and lie flat. Your foot doctor may also prescribe some muscle stretching exercises. Once the pressure on the deformed toe has been relieved, you podiatrist can monitor the toe for any further developments.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If changing your footwear does not help much, you should seek medical advice. Your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to relieve pain or surgery, depending on the severity of your hammertoe. Custom Orthotics are a better option than over-the-counter shoe inserts since they are especially designed for your foot. Don’t wait for the condition to worsen before seeking help. If you suspect anything wrong with your foot, see a foot doctor or podiatrist immediately.
To learn more or if you are looking for the best podiatrist in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, call Oasis Foot and Ankle Clinic at 602-993-2700 Now. Oasis Foot and Ankle Centers offer cutting edge surgical and nonsurgical treatments for foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
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