5150 Hill Rd. East Suite A, Lakeport, CA 95453
415 Hospital Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482
If trying on shoes isn’t as much fun as it used to be, it may be caused by the development of hammertoes, also known as claw toes. This condition is recognizable by an unsightly bump on the knuckle of the toe, which can rub against the top of your shoe and cause pain. Claw toes can also affect the tip of the toe as it curls under and rubs against the sole of your shoe. They can cause the ball of the foot to become painful, a feeling sometimes described as walking on marbles. Claw toes can be caused by a muscle imbalance, where the long muscles in the leg overpower the smaller foot muscles. Other causes include injury to a tendon, tight calf muscles, and family history. The four lesser toes often develop claw toes, with the second toe the most likely to be affected. Home treatments include wearing shoes with a wider and deeper toe box to relieve rubbing, toe spacers and hammertoe splints, and soft padding to cushion the affected toes. However, if these measures fail to reduce your pain and discomfort, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist to determine a more advanced course of treatment.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option