Understand What Is Hammertoe, Its Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies


A hammertoe means a curled toe caused due to a bend of a joint. Hammertoes gets its name from the fact that when the toe joint is stuck in an upward posture, it looks like a hammer. This abnormality may form corn or callus on top of the joint, causing pain and making it difficult to walk. Generally, the impact can be on any toe,however, the second one is most likely to be affected. According to a study, females are more likely than males to have hammertoes.

Hammertoes are of two types:

  • Flexible hammertoe:

These are not very serious. Here, as the name implies, the joint is still moveable. This means one can cure it easily if you start the therapy at an earlier stage itself.

  • Rigid hammertoe:

In this case, unlike flexible hammertoe, the join does not move, as it is inflexible and rigid. You might experience excruciating agony when you try to move or wiggle your toe. If you do not get treatment for your hammertoe while it is still developing, it may later turnout to be rigid and more painful.

The hammer toe pain can be severe if not treated appropriately and promptly. If you are suffering from this deformity and looking for a podiatric office near you, then you must check out the official website of Dr. Sima Soltani’s Podiatry clinic. It is one of the greatest podiatric clinics in Orange County, California.

Dr. Sima Soltani is a professional and highly experienced podiatric. Dr. Sima and her team have over 20 years of experience in handling cases related to hammer toe and other ankle-related problems. Further, they specialize in carrying operation less treatment. Therefore, contact them now and book your appointment to end your foot-related issues. They also provide Toenail Laser treatment, Stem Cell Therapy, Custom Orthotics, and Bunion Surgery.

Let us now understand the causes, symptoms, and remedies of hammertoe.

Causes of the Hammertoe:

Several reasons may cause this imbalance, such as:

  • Footwear:

Shoes that are overly tight and have high heels may force the toes to bend. When the toes are in this posture for an extended period, the muscles that allow them to straighten out become tight and less able to function. This might lead to hammertoe and other foot-related issues.

  • Long toe:

According to a study in 2021, people who have long toes are more likely to get hammertoes. This is because your toe will twist or bend when you wear tight or high-heeled shoes. Further, people with additional foot problems, such as flat feet or bunions, are more likely to develop hammertoe. Therefore, if you have a long toe, make sure to wear appropriate footwear particularly when you have a long toe.

  • Genetics:

As per the studies, hammertoe can be the result of your DNA too. These conditions are heritable. This means, if one of your relatives has a hammertoe, the chances of you developing it are high.

  • Gender and age:

Hammertoe is more common among old age people and especially women. As said earlier, more women tend to develop hammertoe when compared to men. This could be because women are more prone to wear shoes that put pressure on the toes, increasing the risk of hammertoe.

  • Neuromuscular disease:

Neuromuscular illnesses can influence the development of hammertoe. People with diabetestend to develop this problem. Other disorders that affect the muscles or the nerves that regulate the muscles may also cause hammertoe.

Symptoms of Hammertoe:

The following are the symptoms of hammertoe:

  • Rigid toe joint.
  • Pain at the top of the toe when bent.
  • Formation of corns and calluses at the top of your joint.
  • Inflammation and redness in the toe area.
  • Burning sensation.
  • Pain while moving the toe.
  • Difficulty in walking.

Remedies to Fix Hammertoe:

While the hammertoes are in the developing stage and still flexible, you can treat them non-surgically by following the below tips that even doctors recommend:

  • Change your footwear:

The first and foremost important thing is to change your footwear at the earliest after you realize the development of the hammertoe. Wear flat or low-healed footwear only. For better results, you can even switch to open-toe shoes and sandals.

  • Exercise:

Exercising will help you greatly in stretching and straitening the toe muscle and treating the imbalance caused due to hammertoe. The doctors may suggest you some specific exercises such as:

  • Picking up objects from the affected toe
  • Gently stretch your affected toe manually
  • Scrunching towel on the floor with the affected toe
  • Medical products:

You can purchase several medical products from the nearby medical stores like cushioned straps, tubes, etc., which can help in reducing discomfort.

  • Surgical treatment:

In case, the non-surgical treatment does not cure the problem, then you must undergo surgical procedures such as tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, and arthrodesis.

Make sure to take care of your foot properly. Hammer toes, if not treated on time, may create severe complications. Therefore, make sure to contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of this toe problem.

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