By Joseph Stuto, DPM
March 03, 2020
Category: hammertoe

Hammertoes are usually very painful and require treatment to avoid other painful conditions from developing.

What is a hammertoe and how can it hurt you? A hammertoe is a condition in which the middle joint of your toes starts bending downwards, due to an imbalance of the muscles and tendons that keep the toes straight.

The bend is quite pronounced and causes pain as your toes are under constant strain being in an abnormal position. Another way hammertoes hurt your feet is by increasing the risk of corns or calluses that develop due to friction i.e. when the bend keeps hitting against the insides of your shoes.

Here are some common factors that can lead to the development of hammertoes:

  • Tight or ill-fitted shoes that make your toes bend or curl inwards

  • Age may affect the position of your toes: as the bones lose their strength, they may start bending your toes

  • At times, this condition may be hereditarily passed down to younger generations

  • Arthritis – a disease that also weakens your bones – could also cause hammertoes

  • Injury or bone fractures may also damage the structure and position of your toes

Treatments for hammertoes vary and depend on the severity and rigidity of the bend. If the bend is not flexible, surgical procedures may be required to correct the position of the joint.

However, the following preventive measure treatments may be useful in avoiding this condition:

  • Wearing shoes that have ample space between your big toe and the shoe wall, so that your toes don’t touch the insides of your shoes

  • Comfortable footwear that does not push or cram your toes is effective in preventing hammertoes

  • Flexing exercises that stretch your toe muscles are helpful in gaining strength

Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Joseph Stuto, at Joseph Stuto, DPM, strongly advises our patients to visit their podiatrist regularly so that any unnoticeable conditions can be caught in time and addressed with proper treatment. Feel free to contact any of our offices located in Brooklyn Heights (718) 624-7537 and Brooklyn (718) 567-1403, New York, and schedule an appointment. For more extensive information on podiatry related topics, visit our patient library and blog section.

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