Variety of Mallet Toe Causes & Conditions

3 min read

Mallet Toe

Mallet ToeMallet toe is a condition in which the joint nearest the tip of the toe becomes fixed and cannot straighten.  The tip of the toe may point downward toward the shoe.  This can be quite painful and prevent the foot from functioning properly.  After a mallet toe develops, the unnatural position of the toe can cause the joint to rub against the shoe and form a corn and cause excessive pressure on the tip of the toe.

Causes of Mallet Toe

There are a variety of conditions that can affect the toe joints and result in pain and poor foot function.  Mallet toe causes the joint nearest the tip of the toe to be unable to straighten properly.  Mallet toe, along with many other foot conditions, is sometimes caused by arthritis.  Mallet toe can be quite painful.  The condition can be exacerbated by wearing shoes that restrict the foot or put additional pressure on the deformity.

Mallet toe can be caused by wearing certain types of shoes.  High heeled shoes, in particular, are responsible for causing mallet toe.  Any type of shoe that has a narrow toe box and forces the toes into a small space, preventing them from lying flat, can contribute to the development of mallet toe.

Mallet toe can also be caused by a foot trauma.  If you injure your toe by breaking it, stubbing it, or jamming it, you become more likely to develop mallet toe in that location.

People who have nerve damage in their feet are also more likely to develop mallet toe.  Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is often related to medical conditions like diabetes or stroke.

In addition to these causes of mallet toe, there are several risk factors that increase your odds of developing mallet toe.  The first risk factor is age; you are more likely to develop mallet toe as you get older.  The second risk factor is gender.  Women have a greater likelihood of developing mallet toe than men.  The third risk factor for mallet toe is toe length.  Take a look at your toes.  If your second toe is longer than your big toe, then you are more likely to develop mallet toe in that toe.

Complications of Mallet Toe

When a mallet toe first develops, it may remain somewhat flexible.  It may be able to straighten out again when you aren’t wearing shoes that constrict it.  However, over time, the toe may lose its ability to flex and straighten, even when you are barefoot.  The tendons can contract and become permanently stiff.

Preventing and Treating Mallet Toe

If you have mallet toe, the first step that you should take toward treatment is to accommodate the toe’s deformity.  This means choosing shoes that have a large, wide, high toe box.  This will help to reduce any pressure or friction on the toe and keep the toe flexible.

Once a mallet toe has developed, the pressure against the toe from the shoes can often cause corns and calluses.  Giving the toes plenty of space with a large toe box will reduce pressure and help to prevent these complications.  Shoe inserts or orthotics are also beneficial for mallet toe.  These devices can adjust the position of the toes, thereby relieving pressure and reducing pain.

If you suffer from mallet toe, visit Foot Solutions UK.  We have a wide selection of supportive footwear, shoe inserts, and arch supports.  If we don’t have what you need in stock, we can even order custom arch supports to give you the perfect fit.  Stop by Foot Solutions UK today to find relief from mallet toe.