Hammer toe is the name given to a toe that is bent over, in the shape of a hammer. This usually happens because there is an imbalance in the muscles or tendons, although it can be made much worse by shoes that do not fit properly. This is a progressive condition, that will worsen if not treated, so it is very important to seek help as soon as you suspect a problem.
Preventing hammer toe is much better for your feet than trying to correct the problem once it has developed, but if you already have hammer toe, don’t despair. It is possible to improve the condition through a gradual process of exercising and rehabilitation. However, if you do not notice any improvement, you should seek professional advice to avoid the condition worsening.
How To Prevent And Treat Hammer toe:
Preventing and treating hammer toe is all about protecting the joints and bones of your feet and exercising them in the right way. The following tips are useful for both preventing and treating the condition:
1. Wearing the right shoes. Shoes need to fit your feet well, with a wide toe box to accommodate movement and allow the toes to spread. A specialist shoe store can help you to find comfort shoes that have good arch support and cushioning, and this will help to prevent hammer toe as well as many other foot conditions.
2. Encourage flexibility. There are several simple stretches you can do to help the toes to develop strength and flexibility, and this will help to maintain good foot health. Try using your toes to pick up small items from the floor one by one, or scrunch a towel in between the toes.
3. Stretch the toes in reverse. It can really help to increase flexibility if you bend the toes backwards, gently, in the opposite direction to the existing bend. Simply bend the affected toe backwards for a few seconds, five to ten times every day, to rebalance the joint and correct the damage. This should not be painful.
4. Don’t cramp the feet. Never be tempted to wear shoes that crush the toes together, such as high heels, and ensure that you talk to a professional about the best way to maintain support within your shoes.
5. Explore arch supports. Arch supports can relieve pain and pressure and ensure that the foot is aligned properly within the shoe, which can be a very effective way to prevent or treat hammer toe. Custom arch supports, that are designed to fit your foot exactly, can transform the way your feet feel and protect against many foot problems such as this.
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