Do your toes appear bent downward or crooked? If so, you may be suffering from hammer toes, claw toes, or mallet toes. This trio of conditions are very similar and can cause a lot of pressure and pain in the foot. Let’s explore the causes, signs, and symptoms of hammer toes, then discover how to effectively treat hammer toes so you can walk happy once more:
The Underlying Cause of Hammer Toes
The underlying condition that causes hammer toes to form in the first place starts when the tendons and ligaments inside your toes start to shorten and contract, leading to significant pain and as the joint in the toe curl downward.
You are going to lose quite a bit of mobility – though there are two different kinds of hammer toes (flexible and rigid) – and just taking a single step on hammer toes can be incredibly painful because of the stiffening and hardening of these tendons and ligaments. Hammer toes are often accompanied by painful corns as the top of the toe rubs against the shoe.
Signs and Symptoms of Hammer Toes
The obvious signs and symptoms of hammer toes that you are going to want to be on the lookout for include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
- Toes that at rest naturally curl under your feet or appear to be crooked or bent
- Distorted and inflamed joints in your toes
- Toes that are going to curl up and rub on the inside of your socks or shoes
- Toes that “lock” into place
How to Effectively (and Painlessly) Treat Hammer Toes
The first thing that you are going to want to do to address hammer toes is to change out the kind of shoes that you wear on a regular basis.
You’re going to want to find shoes with wide and broad toe boxes. The wider toe box will provide more space for the toes and reduce pressure and friction. Visit your local specialty footwear store for the right shoe recommendation from a shoe fitting professional.
Regular massage, and customized orthotic inserts can help relieve the condition. Other physical therapy solutions can also be effective at fighting back against hammer toes. Visit Foot Solutions to learn more about relieving the pain and discomfort of hammer toes and finding a pair of comfort shoes to restore foot health. With two convenient locations in Ottawa West and Ottawa East, we are here to serve you!