Hammer Toe - Condition & Treatment
What are hammer toes?
A hammer toe is a toe that becomes permanently bent in the middle so that the end of the toe points downwards and the part of the toe before the joint where the bend occurs tends to arch upwards.
A hammer toe typically affects the 2nd toe and can take years to develop.
Hammer toes are classified based on the mobility of the toe joints. There are two types - flexible and rigid. In a flexible hammer toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of hammer toe can be straightened manually. A rigid hammer toe does not have that same ability to move. Movement is very limited and can be extremely painful.
What are the main causes of Hammer Toes?
• Wearing ill fitting shoes is the main cause of hammer toes.
• Bunions can also cause hammer toes as the 2nd toe compensates for the big toe moving inwards.
Suggested remedies for Hammer Toes
• Choose a shoe with enough width and height in the toe box to give plenty of room to the hammer toe. Avoid high heeled shoes.
• Hammer toe splints can be used to straighten the toe if it is mobile which can give relief to the forefoot.