Hammer Toes
Hammer Toes

How to get rid of  Your Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes are a deformity commonly seen with Bunion Deformity!

Hammer toes are a deformity of the joints, a bending of the toes usually the 2nd, 3rd or 4th toe. Causing a permanent bend which looks like a hammer.  These toes can become quite painful because of the pressure on your joints.

 

Causes of the problem

Hammer toes can be caused if your shoes do not fit properly. Ill fitting shoes can force the toe into a bent position, like wearing high heeled shoes or narrow fitting shoes. With the toe bent for a long time this can cause the muscle to shorten resulting in the hammer toe deformity.  This is often found in conjunction with bunions or other foot problems.

The most common cause of hammer toes is a muscle or tendon imbalance.  Hammer toes can also be caused by nerve or joint damage resulting from conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

Treatment

To relieve the pressure and pain you can change your footwear to new soft shoes that are wider and give more room in the toe box area.  In more severe cases of hammer toes the toe becomes more rigid, surgery is required to correct the deformity.  We can advise on toe exercises that can be done at home, like stretching and strengthening the muscle.  Hammer toes never get better without intervention. Orthoses also help to realign and re-balance the feet.

 


Bunions

You can spot a bunion a mile away it is a big lump on the side of your foot on the big toe.  It is a structured deformity of the bones and joint on the big toe. It can also be very painful.  Women tend to complain more about bunions than men because of the shoe types they wear.  Bunions are quite common, it is medically known as Hallux Valgus.

Symptoms of Bunions

Bunions can often be inherited.  The symptoms of a bunion can be pain, inflammation, skin irritation and redness around the bunion.  You can get a lot of pain when walking and the big toe tends to lean towards the other toes.  Bunions are caused by abnormalities when tendons and ligaments are no longer functioning properly.  Other causes are flat feet, abnormal bone structure and genetic factors.  Your footwear can exaggerate the problem more; also you can get arthritis on your big toe joint.

Treatment for Hammer Toes and Bunions

Bunions may be treated by a change in your footwear, extra padding and shielding or orthotics which can be fitted by us.  Also resting your foot and applying ice to the affected area.  You can get bunion spacers, toe separators, and bunion splints.  These treatments help with the symptoms but do not correct the deformity, only surgery may be necessary if the deformity is severe.  But you will need an x-ray first to see the extent of the deformity.  Surgery involves removing of the bony enlargement on the side of your foot, realigning and straightening of the big toe, also correcting any abnormal misalignment of your toe.

Age and Surgery

Your age, health and lifestyle play a big part in whether you can have surgery.  Bunion surgery can be performed under local or general anaesthetic and recovery time is 6-8 weeks. You can have your hammer toes fixed at the same time, but the type of sugery will vary with your age.

If you would like further information on the wonderful benefits of regular Podiatry or more details of our Tai Chi and therapies service, please click on this website link provided:- Podiatryandwellbeing.co.uk 

Our aim is to help you in any way that we can.

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