Hammer toes are a deformity that appears due to a disruption in the balance of the muscles in the foot. We may also call them curled toes. Toes gradually bend and at later stages cannot be straightened. Painful sores may appear on the first joint. Hammer toes are more common in older people, most often in the second toe.
Causes of hammer toes
The main cause of hammer toes is wearing inappropriate footwear, especially high heels and tight shoes without enough room in the toe. Other factors include poor posture, overloading of the feet, as well as congenital causes.
Signs of hammer toes
Hammer toes are the result of a collapsing arch of the foot, weakening of the muscles and gradual degeneration of the ligaments. The foot lengthens slightly, the ligaments and tendons shorten and the toes are pulled back. From above, it looks like you are missing the last joint of your toe because it is resting on the floor. Your toes will press against your shoes and painful pressure sores may appear.
How to treat hammer toes
The most important thing is prevention, i.e., wearing appropriate footwear, not overloading the feet, correct posture and gait, sufficient regeneration and care for the feet. In the early stages of the deformity, eliminating the causes of the problem and regular exercise with a physical therapist can help. In later stages, surgery may be unavoidable.