Hammer toe prevention is umpteen times better than hammer toe treatment. It is one kind of deformity when the toe gets bent in a downward position just like a claw. This condition can be caused by wearing the wrong type of shoes or due to a bunion or a knob like bump on the top of the toe or due to a callus on the sole.
In these conditions, the walking becomes very painful and a high-foot arch develops and the toes curl or bent down. In certain cases, people are born with hammer toe due to some genetic nerve disorder. But, generally, this disorder is caused by wearing very narrow or small shoes. So hammer toe can be prevented by wearing right-sized shoes that provide plenty of room for the toes and fit properly.
Early Diagnosis For Hammer Toe
If you have any type of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis or other such disorder then, it may lead to hammer toe. If your toes become deformed and extremely painful, your healthcare professional may ask for a fluid sample to check for any infection or deposits of uric acid. Hammer toe examination does not require any X-rays or other diagnoses.
Guidelines To Prevent Hammer Toe
Follow these guidelines for hammer toe prevention:
- Avoid shoes that are too tight, short, pointed, or have narrow toes.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes that push the weight of your body forward on the toes.
- If your shoes hurt, please do not wear them.
- Wear shoes that have wide toes and are a half-inch longer than your longest toe.
The early symptoms of hammer toe deformity is pain, so do not ignore foot pain. Hammer toe prevention in the initial stage can be done by wearing toe-friendly shoes and doing flattening exercises for toes regularly. This can be done by soaking feet in warm water daily for 15 minutes and doing stretching exercises for toes and ankles.
Two Simple Toe Exercises
Hammer toe treatment involves just the straightening of the toes by making the toe tendons flexible again. This can be done by surgical intervention or by doing some simple foot exercises. If your job involves long periods of standing or walking, then hammer toe prevention can be done by doing these two simple exercises for your tired toes:
- Exercise #1: The simples exercise for hammer toe prevention is to place a piece of cloth or towel on the floor and pick it up only using your toes with your heel resting on the floor. Repeat this procedure at least 10-15 times.
- Exercise #2: This is a very effective exercise and can be used as hammer toe prevention or treatment. Just sit on the floor with your feet stretched out. Take a towel under your toes and apply backward pressure with the towel on your toes.
Besides doing exercises as hammer toe prevention, you can use over-the-counter crest pads, cushions, or straps to alleviate pain and to provide comfort to your tiring toes. However, if your pain persists and lasts for several days, contact your healthcare professional or podiatrist for evaluation and treatment. Hammer toe is not a threatening condition, but, if it is not treated in early stage, the toes become stiff and bent permanently. In such advanced cases, surgical intervention is the only option.