Hammer toes are a painful deformity of the three middle toes where the toes are always bent.
There are two types – flexible and rigid.
If the toe can still be moved at the joint, it’s termed a flexible hammer toe. If the tendons in the toe become rigid, the joint will be moved out of alignment and the toe will not be able to move, thus it’s known as a rigid hammer toe.
Visually a toe that looks like it is stuck in an upside-down ‘V’ position is probably a hammer toe. Other symptoms include:
- Pain at the top of the bent toe when putting on footwear
- Difficulty in moving the toe joint with associated pain when doing so
- The toe joint itself swelling
- Corns forming on top of the toe joint
There are a variety of causes. Hammer Toes have been linked to:
- Footwear that’s too tight in the toe box which means that the toes cannot lie flat
- An injury like stubbing or breaking a toe can trigger the condition
- Imbalance of the toe muscles
- Second toe longer than big toe
- Some medical conditions like arthritis and diabetes can be contributory factors
If your toe is still flexible bespoke insoles will reduce pain and keep the condition from getting any worse. In addition bespoke footwear can be made to accommodate hammer toes ensuring some measure of comfort when walking or standing.