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The Benefits of Stretching the Toes May Help Hammertoe

Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

The medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity of the joints in the toes. It most often occurs in the second toe, and will cause the toe to resemble a hammer, which is a result of the top of the toe turning downward. Many patients may develop this condition if they are flat-footed or born with the second toe that is longer than the first. There are several reasons why this uncomfortable condition may occur, and these may include wearing shoes such as high heels, which may provide inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, arthritic conditions that are present in the feet, or a predisposed inherited gene. There are noticeable symptoms that are often associated with this condition, including toes that curl, difficulty in wearing shoes that fit properly, or possible pain in the ball of the foot. When specific toe stretches are performed frequently, it may help the tendons in the foot to relax. Additionally, if the toe is splinted, this technique may aid in stretching the tendons and ligaments in the foot, which may bring a moderate level of relief. If you notice the formation of a hammertoe, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist, so the correct treatment can begin.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Eric Simmons of InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

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.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • 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

Treatment

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 office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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