Hammertoe is a common and sometimes debilitating condition that changes the shape of your toes over time. It is caused by shortening the ligaments or muscles next to your toes, often due to genetics or wearing constrictive shoes.
Patients who struggle with this condition may have difficulty finding shoes that fit well. If you’ve noticed bends or bumps in your toes, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joshi. Early identification can help you get on the path of proper treatment.
There are two different types of hammertoes: rigid and flexible. Each type has its own sets of treatment options available.
Rigid Hammertoes: Hammertoes are considered rigid when the muscles and ligaments are so short that an individual can’t straighten their feet. Additionally, the tendons in the toes are usually pulled so tight that it pulls the toes out of their proper alignment. Rigid hammertoes frequently require surgery for correction.
Flexible Hammertoes: In contrast to the rigid hammertoe, flexible hammertoes still allow people to move their toes at the joint, but may not be able to completely straighten the toe. Flexible hammertoes are considered a more mild condition than rigid hammertoes. Treatment options may involve wearing alignment socks or doing specific exercises.
Early Identification of Hammertoes
Identifying hammertoes when the issue is relatively minor allows podiatrists several different options to help correct the problem. While some people may not notice any discomfort or pain, they can usually identify changes in toe mobility. Here are a few of the most common early signs of hammertoes:
New blisters or calluses on the tops of your toes
Pain or discomfort while walking
Pain at the joint of the toes
Stiffness in the toe joints
Difficulty or the inability to bend the toe
If you notice any of these early warning signs, bring your concerns to Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The Causes of Hammertoes
Many factors and behaviors can lead to hammertoes. While some of these are a product of chance, changing some actions can help decrease the likeliness that you’ll develop hammertoes.
Genetics and age are two of the most common factors predicting if a person will get hammertoes. Some specific physical traits that can also affect somebody’s potential to develop hammertoes are people with long toes, flat feet, or high arches. Hammertoes frequently accompany arthritis.
Aside from your genetic predisposition to hammertoes, certain behaviors can increase your risk. Choice of footwear is one of the most significant factors. Wearing shoes that are too small can compress the toes and shorten the connecting tissue. Additionally, wearing high heels with a heel over 2″ can also stress your toes. High heels that come to a point in the front put even more pressure on your toes.
A Path Forward
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for individuals who have hammertoes. With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, you can continue to lead a normal life with regular physical activity.
While some people rely on over-the-counter or home remedies, their success depends mostly on the severity of their condition. Dr. Anant Joshi specializes in ensuring that patients receive the best care for their needs by offering treatment plans that often use non-invasive techniques.
Getting Help Today
If you are experiencing any foot discomfort, contact Dr. Anant Joshi and Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC today to schedule your consultation. Our exceptional staff will identify what is causing your discomfort and work with you to develop a plan that fits your needs. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.