Hammer toes are contractures or foot deformities often found on one or both joints of the lesser toes (second, third, fourth, and fifth toes). This creates an abnormal bend in the toes that often starts off as a mild flexible deformity then progressively gets worse over time by developing fixed (stiff and inflexible) contractures.
Hammer toes occur due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally keep the toes straight. A hammer toe may result if a toe is too long and is forced into a cramped position when a shoe is too short. Pressure on the ends of the toes causes the middle joint of the toe to bend upward (dorsally) creating a shortening of the flexor tendon and the potential for the toes to rub on the top of shoes or on the bottom of the insole.
Hammer toes can become painful from corns and calluses that develop on the tops of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP joint) from friction or rubbing against the upper part of the shoe that covers the top of the foot also known as the vamp of the shoe. The type of shoes you wear, foot structure, trauma, and certain inherited conditions can contribute to the development of hammer toes. Hammertoes can be aggravated by shoes that do not fit properly either in length or in height.
Treating hammer toes involves wearing a properly sized and shaped shoe to accommodate the deformities and avoid undue pressure on the toes. In addition, custom foot orthotics can be helpful in controlling the muscle/tendon imbalance associated with hammer toes.
Sole Remedy is and accredited Pedorthic facility and provider of ankle-foot orthoses, foot orthotics and properly fitting footwear. Have painful feet or hammer toes? We can help! Call for an appointment today!
Sole Remedy specializes in gait analysis, foot type assessment, musculoskeletal injury management and fall prevention.
Phone: 508-295-8800 or 855-FOOT RX 9 to schedule an appointment today!