Do you suffer from hammer toes or would you like to prevent them from forming? This initially trivial problem can develop into long-term complications that can make your life very uncomfortable. But we don't want that. Let's take a look at four tips that are guaranteed to help you cure your hammer toes and keep your feet healthy.
What are hammer toes and what causes them?
Like bunions and flat feet, hammer toes are among the most common foot deformities and are caused by an imbalance in the muscles of the foot. As a result, the toes scrunch up. This deformity tends to occur in older people and most often involves the toes. The toes gradually bend and can no longer be fully straightened. In addition, corns or painful bruises often form on the first joint.
Hammer toes are related to falling arches in the feet, weakened muscles and degenerating ligaments. In such cases the foot lengthens slightly, which shortens ligaments and tendons and pulls the toes.
A leading cause of hammer toe is inappropriate footwear, especially wearing high heels and tight shoes without enough space at the toes. Hammer toe can also be caused by poor posture or excessive stress on the legs. In younger people, it may also be caused by birth defects associated with poor leg position or the consequences of neurological disease.
How to recognize hammer toes
How can you tell that you have hammer toes without going to a doctor? You can tell by changes in appearance. One or more toes will start to bend and you will not be able to straighten it completely. From above it will look like you are missing the last joint of your toe because it will be bent towards the floor.
Thanks to this unnatural position, your foot will be cramped in shoes and bruises may appear on the first toe joint. This may first appear as callouses that may later become corns which grow deep and cause very unpleasant pain not only in shoes but later even when just touched. Similar bruises can also appear on the tips of your toes or on the soles of your feet in the places that are suddenly most stressed. Beneath the bruises bursas may form, which are sacs filled with fluid that can become inflamed and cause further complications.
How to treat hammer toes
Failing to address early symptoms can not only lead to surgery becoming necessary, but also to unpleasant pain that will accompany every step or contact with the surroundings.
1. An ounce of prevention...
There is nothing easier than keeping your feet healthy with a bit of prevention. In doing so, you will significantly reduce the risk of any deformities or problems that could affect your feet. So, what measures can you take to protect your feet?
The first step is to exercise, take walks and also get enough rest. You should not needlessly overload your feet. And if that does happen, give them time to recover by relaxing on the couch, massaging the soles or your feet, swimming, or doing other activities that give your feet a chance to relax.
2. Wear appropriate footwear
In cases of nascent or advanced hammer toe, you should avoid wearing high heels if possible. If you must wear them, at work for example, try to limit it as much as possible.
Your shoes should have plenty of room at the toes and you can also use orthopedic inserts to ensure the correct position of your arches and prevent the formation of flat feet.
If you plan on buying new shoes, you should certainly try walking in them first. If possible, go shopping during the afternoon hours, when your feet are largest.
3. Exercises and stretching
With the onset of deformities, you should ideally stretch your feet and toes every day. Foot and ankle massages will also help, along with rehab visits to a physiotherapist who will help you loosen stiff joint capsules and correct the position of your toes.
4. Foot Alignment Socks
For maximum treatment effect, we recommend regularly wearing foot alignment socks. The greatest advantage of these socks is that they help you prevent degenerative conditions. They help you improve circulation and stretch the toes and soles of your feet, which generally alleviates pain from tired and swollen feet.
It’s worth paying extra attention to the health of your feet. It will save you a lot of discomfort, pain and time spent at the doctor. There is nothing nicer than stepping into a new day with healthy feet.