For those who may be unfamiliar with this condition, hammer toe is a deformity causing the toe to bend downward instead of pointing forward. While any of the toes can be affected, it’s primarily seen on the second or third toe. While this deformity can be present in some individuals from birth, it is a condition that typically develops over time.
All of these factors lead to the fact that the foot is no longer healthy and capable of being self-supportive.There are two joints in the toe, middle and bottom that allow for it to bend. It is when the middle joint becomes dislocated or misaligned that hammer toe occurs. There are many factors that can contribute to this joint dislocation including:
- Trauma caused by injury
- Unusually high arch in the foot
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Atrophy in the 40 intrinsic foot muscles
- Tightened ligaments from the hip or tendons in the foot
- Pressure from a bunion
- Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage
Symptoms of hammer toe can include a curling toe; pain or discomfort in the toes and ball of the foot or on the front of the leg, as well as a thickening of the skin on the affected toe along as well as corns or calluses. Treating the symptoms of hammertoe can consist of warm foot soaks, toe stretches, splinting of the toe, and in extreme cases, surgery to straighten out the toe (which could lead to complications including pain and numbness).
BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ offers a treatment option for these foot conditions with the use of BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ insoles to promote balance and the use of foot, lower & upper leg muscles for increased muscle strength, symmetry and flexibility. These features help to maintain long-term foot health as wearing our insoles helps shift the toe’s position, relieving pain and correcting its appearance.
Use of the BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ Strengthening System is a great preventive measure, not only for hammertoe but other foot and leg afflictions.