How to prevent Hammer Toe
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A Hammer Toe is a condition that causes restriction of the joint capsule, most commonly seen in the second toe. Hammer Toes can lead to the formation of corns on the top of the toe, joint pain and secondary conditions such as Morton’s Neuroma and Mallet toes. This article will detail the most effective Hammer Toe treatment that you can carry out at home or under the guidance of a Physical Therapist.
Stretching the toes of the foot, especially the Flexor Digitorum longus muscle, can help to lengthen the toes and provide pain relief.
The Flexor Digitorum longus muscle is connected to toes 2-5, and the big toe has an independent muscle. When the Flexor Digitorum longus becomes too tight, it pulls on the toes and causes a hammer toe, so it is important to keep this as mobile as possible.
Stretching 3-4 times daily for 45 seconds can cause a change in the length of a muscle
A strong foot and ankle can help to control the foot through the gait cycle and prevent an overload of the small toes of the foot.
The 2-5th toes are primarily for balance and stability. However, if excess pressure is placed on them, they can contract or claw to try and provide extra stability.
Strengthening your Peroneus Muscles, Posterior Tibialis, and Soleus muscles can help to maintain option mechanics of your feet when walking and running.
Insoles can help to optimise how the foot moves, reducing the amount of force placed on the smaller toes.
Custom insoles may have a cut out underneath the affected toe to reduce the pressure placed on the toe, or other solutions include a metatarsal bar or a metatarsal pad.
These help by lifting the metatarsal head to elongate the toe and stretch the tendon.
Hammer Toe Splints, Straighteners or braces are an effective form of pain relief for Hammer Toe pain.
They work by encouraging the toe into extension and stretching the flexor tendons of the toes.
This method can primarily relieve pain and works well when worn in the evenings or overnight.
We do not recommend using these during activity, especially impact activities like running.
We recommend the Bioskin Hammer Toe straightener.
James McCormack is a Physical Therapist who specialises in knee, foot & ankle injuries. www.james-mccormack.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Earnings from this are used to create free-to-read content.
This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments.