Learn more about this foot deformity and how it could affect your foot health.
While most people know about bunions, not as many people know about hammertoes, another common foot deformity that often appears over time. Are you wondering whether changing in your feet could actually be the result of a hammertoe or not? Our Colorado Springs, CO podiatrist, Dr. Matthew Hinderland, is here to tell you the telltale signs.
Take a look at your feet for a moment. While toes should be straight, if you notice that any of your toes curl or bend downward then you could very well be dealing with the beginnings of a hammertoe. A structural imbalance or weak tendons in the feet often lead to the development of a hammertoe. While any toe can develop this problem, it’s more common in the smaller toes.
Hammertoes are also more likely to develop corns (a thick, harden layer of dead skin) since they tend to rub against shoes more easily. You may also notice that the balls of your feet are sore and achy after walking or physical activity.
If you are noticing these issues, it’s a good time to set up an appointment with our Colorado Springs foot doctor. Even though the problem isn’t serious in the beginning, it’s also important that you provide your feet with the proper care and maintenance they need to prevent the hammertoe from becoming more serious.
If left untreated, a hammertoe can become rigid, which means that you won’t be able to straighten the toe at all. Rigid hammertoes are often very painful and the only way to repair this issue is with surgery.
Of course, if the problem is caught early enough there are ways to prevent surgery and to manage your symptoms:
- Throw out any shoes that put too much pressure on the feet or bunch up your toes
- Purchase new shoes that offer a proper fit (get fitted by a shoe specialist, if necessary) and allow your toes room to move
- Wear a protective pad over the hammertoe to prevent the formation of a corn or callus
- Perform certain foot exercises daily to strengthen the tendons in your feet (we would be happy to show you some easy exercises to incorporate into your daily routine)
If you are dealing with any foot problems or changes, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and schedule an appointment with one of our Colorado Springs, CO foot specialists. Here at Foot & Ankle Institute of Colorado, we pride ourselves on providing you with the very best foot care you can get.