Your feet are the foundation of your body. Often, people do not even realize how much they depend on them. Nevertheless, if foot problems occur, the value of keeping feet healthy and happy undoubtedly becomes an understatement. Your daily life, health, and the level of participation in enjoyable activities, can all be greatly impacted by problems of your feet.
One issue that particularly arises is called “hammertoes.” Simply judging by its name, it may be hard to take this foot problem seriously. However, it’s important not to be fooled. This buckling, or curling, of the toe joints is a progressive and often painful condition.
Although in the beginning stages, the buckled joints may be flexible and not the source of much discomfort, treatment for hammertoes from a specialist should always be sought out as soon as possible to help address the deformity before it worsens.
Why Do People Get Them?
Hammertoes occur due to a muscle and tendon imbalance around the joint of the toe, causing the joint to curl and possibly become buckled in an arched position. As structural deformities, hammertoes can often result in handicapping a person. They can also cause the development of corns and calluses and lead to other concerning foot problems.
People can get hammertoes for a variety of reasons. One leading cause is genetics. Those with inherited foot types, such as flat feet or high arches, have feet that are less stable and are often predisposed to develop this deformity. Other factors that can lead to hammertoes include:
- Wearing Narrow/Small Shoes
- Daily usage of flip flops
- High Foot Arches
- Pressure from Bunions
- Foot Trauma
Why Don’t They Go Away On Their Own?
Because this is a progressive condition, hammertoes don’t just go away or heal on their own. Instead, without intervention, the problem only exacerbates. Different degrees of severity do exist, but each should be addressed with attention and care. For serious conditions, where the joints have become painful and rigid, surgery may be the best solution to permanently correct the deformity.
In other cases, more conservative treatments and custom foot orthotics can be utilized to alleviate the problem and prevent its progression.
Prior to seeing a podiatrist, there are a few things a person can do to possibly help treat their hammertoes:
- Wear better, wider-toed footwear. Uncramp your toes and give them the opportunity to lay flat.
- Toe stretches and exercises. This can help imbalanced toe joints. Picking up items off the floor with your toes is one simple and effective exercise that can be done easily.
Nailing Those Hammertoes Down
When it comes to hammertoes, it’s really not a wait and see situation. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker you can get your feet on a healthier and happier track. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we see surgery as a last resort, but will carefully review your specific situation to best determine which avenue of treatment is right for you.
Please contact our office today to set up an appointment to find hammertoe relief for your feet.