A hammer toe is a toe that is contracted at the PIP joint (middle joint in the toe) and can lead to severe pressure and pain. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to curl downwards. Hammer toes may occur in any toe, except the big toe. There is often discomfort at the top part of the toe that is rubbing against the shoe.
Hammer toes are classified based on the mobility of the toe joints. There are two types – flexible and rigid. In a flexible hammer toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of hammer toe can be straightened manually. With rigid toe joints, movement is limited and can be extremely painful. This sometimes causes foot movement to become restricted leading to extra stress at the ball-of-the-foot, possibly leading to pain and the development of corns and calluses.
Causes of Hammer Toes
Hammer toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. This may be the result of overly tight shoes which put too much pressure on the tops of the toes. Arthritis can also lead to many different forefoot deformities, including hammer toes.
Treatment and Prevention of Hammer Toes
Wearing the correct shoe is a very important step in the treatment of hammer toes. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe area broad, and can accommodate the hammer toes. This ensures less friction against the toes.
Revs Sandals and Flip Flops will give you the broad toe area, and they also have a higher level of nodules that sits just under the toes, to give you support for the toes. The massaging effect from Revs footwear will also help to relieve the inflammation and the pain in your toes.