Tips to Prevent Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a frustrating condition that causes unbearable pain and limits mobility. It occurs when the muscles and ligaments in your toes weaken, causing the toe to bend at the middle joint, resulting in a hammer-like appearance. Hammertoe may result from genetics, arthritis, and ill-fitting shoes. If you are experiencing pain in your toes, visit a Garland podiatrist immediately so that they can treat your condition and prevent it from worsening.

 Here are tips to prevent hammertoe.

Wear properly fitting shoes

Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow can cause a hammertoe. When you wear shoes that are too tight, your toes are forced into an unnatural position, which can lead to the development of hammertoe over time. Therefore, wear properly fitted shoes that allow your toes to move freely. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that can accommodate your toes without squeezing them together. You should also avoid wearing high heels for extended periods, as they put pressure on your toes and can cause them to bend unnaturally.

Stretch your toes

Just like any other muscle in your body, your toes can benefit from stretching. Regularly stretching your toes can help keep them flexible and prevent them from becoming stiff and cramped. One simple exercise you can do is to place a small towel on the floor and use your toes to scrunch it up and hold it for a few seconds before releasing it. You can also use your fingers to gently pull your toes back and hold for a few seconds.

Wear Orthotics

Orthotics are special inserts that can be placed inside your shoes to provide extra support and cushioning for your feet. If you are prone to hammertoe, wearing orthotics can help redistribute the pressure on your feet and prevent your toes from becoming misaligned. You can purchase over-the-counter orthotics or have custom orthotics made specifically for your feet by a podiatrist.

See a Podiatrist

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your toes, see a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can help diagnose the underlying cause of your hammertoe and provide you with a personalized treatment plan. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct the deformity and relieve pain. However, if caught early enough, many cases of hammertoe can be treated with simple lifestyle changes and conservative treatments.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for overall foot health. When you are overweight, your feet are subjected to more pressure than they are designed to handle, increasing your risk of developing hammertoe and other foot conditions. If you are overweight, try to lose weight gradually through healthy eating and regular exercise.

Practice good foot hygiene

Keeping your feet clean and dry is an essential step in preventing hammertoe. When your feet are moist, they are more susceptible to fungal infections that can weaken your toe muscles and lead to the development of hammertoe. Ensure you wash your feet regularly with soap and water and dry them thoroughly after showering or bathing. You should also wear clean socks made of breathable materials, such as cotton or wool, to help wick away moisture.

Call Metroplex Foot and Ankle, LLP, to book your appointment for treatment of hammertoes.

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