Image Credits: Medicinenet

“Keep your vitality. A life without health is like a river without water.”- Maxime Lagacé

The types of shoes that you wear can either help your feet or affect them adversely. The hammertoe is the result of wearing incorrectly sized shoes for the feet. If the shoes are too narrow, over time, there will be stresses induced on the second, third or fourth toes. Over time, the toes will have a bend at the middle joint. The angular shape created by the toe, creates a shape much like a hammer.

Hammertoes are actually painful, and over time the muscles, tendons and ligaments will be distorted as the toes are bent out of shape. In the beginning, the hammertoes are actually flexible, but with the conditions sustained, the toes eventually remain in their position. At this point, surgical intervention will be required in order to restore them to their original state. Symptoms include:

  1. Pain in the toes. As the soft tissue distorts, movement will induce pain.

  2. Corns and callouses due to the fact that the toes are rubbing against the shoes due to the projections.

  3. Open sores on the toes

Some root causes of hammertoes are:

Shoes: Tight shoes or high heels are constricting to the toes.

Gender: Women are more prone to hammertoes due to the fact that they are more prone to tight shoes or high heels.

Injuries: During regular activities such as walking, a toe can be stubbed. Additionally, during sporting activities the feet are prone to impacts which can induce hammertoes.

A visit to your orthopaedic surgeon will determine the severity of your hammertoe condition, and determine the next phase of your treatment. Your orthopaedic surgeon will prescribe either minimally invasive surgery, or other simpler treatments.

Hammer toe Treatments Include:

  1. Toe exercises to flex the joint. Stretch the toes to ensure that the joint is being exposed to both stretches and contractions.

  2. Changing your shoes from those that are tight and constricted to those that are roomier.

  3. Shoe inserts to facilitate the re-alignment of the toes.

If these methods don’t work, then minimally invasive surgical procedures can be utilized in order to treat the area. Surgical treatments including methods such as arthroplasty, arthrodesis, tendon transfer, will help to realign the muscles and tendons, and realign any bones that may be in the incorrect position.

In the case of human induced hammer toes, prevention is always better than cure. Take good care of your feet, ensure that you have the correctly fitting shoes, and you’ll be well on your way to having feet that you can be proud of. Since women are the most affected, it is best to seek comfort rather than cosmetic appearances. On occasion, you can wear heels if you have special events, but for the every day, you can wear flatter shoes or wedges if you’re seeking height. Your health...is your wealth.

Reference Article:

  1. Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315600.php

  2. Hammertoe: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/hammertoe