If one of your toes has an unnatural bend in the middle of the joint, it may have developed hammer toe. This condition is often accompanied by pain, redness, swelling, the development of corns, or difficulty moving the toe. Here are some of the causes, risk factors, and treatments of hammer toe.
Causes And Risk Factors of Hammer Toes Explained
There are several ways hammer toe can develop, including:
Shoes: shoes that have a narrow toe box, are heels, or are poorly fitting often cause hammer toe. This is because these shoes constantly curl the toe and force it against the front of the shoe.
Trauma: If you stub, jam, or break your toe then you may develop hammer toe.
Nerve Damage: Hammer toe is more likely to develop in those who have nerve damage in their feet due to stroke or diabetes.
There are also some factors which increase your risk for developing this foot problem such as:
Being a woman
Having a second toe that is longer than the big toe
If your toe is still flexible, then there are several treatments your podiatrist can recommend such as:
Changing your foot wear
Using a hammer toe pad to reposition the toe and relieve pressure
Taking anti-inflammatory medication or receiving corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation
Performing exercises that stretch and strengthen the toe muscles
Receiving splinting to realign your toe
Having surgery if the toe is too rigid for other treatments