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Understanding Hammer Toe and How It Can Be Treated?


There are many new health problems that are now being discovered that occur because of the busy and fast lifestyle that we live. Although, hammer toe problem is not new this health problem is very much in the limelight for the past few years. There are times when we do hear about hammer toe but most people are not even sure about what hammer toe actually means. So, what is hammer toe?  In simple words it is a deformity that causes the toe to bend or curl downwards instead of pointing forward. Medically it is also known as contracted toe that leads to the deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joint causing it to be permanently bent resembling a hammer.

What Causes Hammer Toe?

In most cases, hammer toes do not occur over night so people can always avoid getting hammer toe issues rather than curing it later on. Hammer toe evolves slowly as the condition worsens over a period of time but it evolves quickly if your toes are always inside the shoes. Most patients that have hammer toes usually wear tight shoes that make them look fashionable and stylish but it actually pushes the toe downwards and eventually leads to hammer toe issues. Poorly fitting shoes can also lead to the same issue and therefore it is recommended that you look out for shoes that fit well and does not create any discomfort to your feet.

Hammer Toes Specialist NYC

However, that is not the only reason that leads to hammer toe. There are many cases where hammer toe occurs because of muscle damage or nerve damage that results from other health problems like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and stroke.

How to Treat Hammer Toes?

There are many health experts that provide information on how to treat hammer toes at home but that is only good for those that do not have serious issues with their toes. If your toe hurts you will need to look out for a doctor that can help you in the right way to treat your hammer toe issue. The most conservative treatment is usually through physical therapy where doctor can provide you with certain exercises that can help your toe to get back to normal. These exercises are simple and they can be performed even while you are at home or in your office. The exercises are usually stretch exercises that allow the toe to get better control and get back in shape.

On the other hand, it is also found that flat foot people are more prone to hammer toe and therefore arch support can also help in resolving hammer toe issues. Most doctors claim that people with little or no foot arch place lot of tension on the upper and lower tendons and that actually pulls the toe inward causing the joint to move upwards. There are special shoes with high arches that actually help patients to resolve hammer toe problems.
You can also get special pad and strap device that also pulls the toe straight and the straightener reduces the friction on the top of the toe which takes the pressure off the ball of the foot.

In extreme cases patients prefer to go for hammer toe surgery that will probably put patients on 15 days bed rest as they cannot walk after the surgery. The surgery is actually intended to resolve hammer toe issues and also to improve the functioning of the toe and to reduce pain. In most cases, patients have the option to resolve hammer toe issues through proper exercises and wearing the right shoes as most experts do not recommend going for hammer toe surgeries that can have disappointing results.


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