As we age, our bodies undergo changes that can affect the muscles, bones, and tendons in our feet. One common change that occurs is the development of hammertoes, which are toes that curl or bend at the middle joint.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of hammertoes, including:
- Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop hammertoes.
- Footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight or have high heels can put pressure on the toes and cause them to curl.
- Trauma: Trauma to the toes, such as a broken or dislocated toe, can cause the toe to curl.
- Arthritis: Arthritis can cause stiffness and inflammation in the joints, which can make it difficult to straighten the toes.
- Neurological conditions: Neurological conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis can affect the muscles and tendons in the feet, leading to hammertoes.
Hammertoes can cause pain and discomfort, and can make it difficult to fit into shoes. If left untreated, they can also lead to calluses and other foot problems. Treatment options include:
- Wearing shoes that fit well and have a low heel.
- Using orthotic inserts to correct the alignment of the toes.
- Physical therapy to strengthen and stretch the muscles and tendons in the feet.
- Splints or straps to hold the toes in the correct position.
- In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the deformity.
It’s important to see a podiatrist or other foot specialist if you notice any changes in your toes, such as curling or bending, to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Call Houston’s Foot Doc for all your foot ailments.