Deformed Toes Runner's Toe, Hammertoes

We may not think of our toes as being important — but in fact, they are extremely important to healthy foot functionality. Our toes, like other parts of the feet, are complex structures that absorb ground pressure and help us balance as we walk and run. Many of the problems that affect toes are caused by abnormal foot anatomy. Over time, these abnormalities may lead to permanent changes in a toe’s appearance. If your toes are very crooked, overlapping, or misshapen, chances are you have clawed toes, mallet toes, or hammertoes. Each condition has different causes but are all related and can be caused by muscle imbalance from an unnatural walk, bunions, a very long second toe, or ill-fitting shoes.

Deformed Toe Treatment:

Dr. Hurless’ advice on the easiest way to avoid these painful toe problems is to make sure you wear shoes with a wide toe box to avoid crowding of the toes. Shoe inserts, orthotics, and products to keep toes separated, such as gel or foam toe separators and toe caps are also effective in providing treatment and relief from the pain and discomfort caused by deformed toes. Also, try using your hands to stretch your toes and toe joints toward their normal positions. If you have symptoms of a claw toe, see a podiatrist for an evaluation. You may need certain tests to rule out neurological disorders that can weaken your foot muscles, creating imbalances that bend your toes. Trauma and inflammation can also cause claw toe deformity.

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