Diabetic Foot FAQs: Hammertoes
There are a number of conditions and ailments which affect our feet. One of these particular common problems is something most people refer to as hammertoes. Typically, hammertoes develop from a muscle imbalance surrounding the toe joint. This imbalance causes the toes to curl and then become stuck in this position. Generally, the most common toe to become hammertoes are the small baby toes that curl instead of buckle. To give you a better idea of what causes hammertoes and what treatments are available to treat them, take a look at this bit of helpful information.
Symptoms: The most common symptom of hammertoes is of course bent and sore toes, but it can also cause pain and irritation on top of the affected toe. Hammertoes get progressively worse overtime, but can often be managed with noninvasive measures if treated in the earlier stages.
Causes: Hammertoes can be caused by a number of things including the frequent wearing of high heeled shoes, diabetes, arthritis and poor circulation.
Treatment: Besides massaging and icing, the best thing you can do to treat a mild case of hammertoes is to ditch the high heeled shoes that stand over 2” tall. It's recommended you instead opt for a comfortable pair of shoes with a wide toe-box. There are plenty of orthopedic shoes which were developed specifically to treat foot conditions such as hammertoes. If you can't find your size or desired style of orthopedic shoes, you could also look at getting yourself some orthotic inserts. These inserts easily slip into just about any pair of shoes you already have in order to transform them into shoes that inconspicuously work to help control the tendon/muscle imbalance.
Most hammertoes are considered to be flexible as they still allow slight movement and can be easily treated, but sometimes the tendons in the toe can become rigid and stuck. If this occurs, it's best to seek the advice of a professional podiatrist as surgery might be the only option to correct your hammertoes.