Hammertoes is a condition in which the toes deform into a fixed 'z-shaped' position. This can occur to one toe or multiple toes at a time. The symptoms and causes of hammertoes need to be considered to develop a better understanding of the condition.
The causes of hammertoes may include existing arthritis, elongated bones of the foot or toes, long-term use of ill-fitting shoes, and/or poor foot posture.
Pain is most severe at the bent joints, and skin irritation or blistering is common where the toe rubs against the shoes. Developing a secondary condition of metatarsalgia is common in chronic cases.
A person with a flatfoot posture is more vulnerable to this kind of condition because of the dysfunctional movement of the foot, which can place more stress on the toes.
To arrive at a clear diagnosis, a foot specialist will ask you questions about your medical history, conduct a physical exam and order X-rays to determine the full extent of the condition and the structural changes caused by it.
Treatment for hammertoes may include wearing comfortable footwear to prevent the toes from rubbing, plus strengthening and stretching exercises for the muscles of the toes. Orthotics can also be used to enhance treatment.
MASS4D® foot insoles will correctly position the foot and the toes in their healthy position to relieve stress and pain.
While hammertoes may not resolve completely with treatment, all of these steps will improve pain management and minimise further deformity.
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