Hammer toes

A Hammer toe, sometimes known as contracted toe is a toe with an abnormal bend or deformity in the middle joint. It usually affects the second or third toe.

Symptoms of Hammer Toe

  • Discomfort while walking.
  • Toe with a downward bent.
  • Calluses or corns from the friction against footwear.
  • Foot pain under the bent Toe.
  • Redness, swelling and pain in the affected toe.

 Causes of Hammer Toe

  • Flat foot - feet without the arch at the base.
  • Poorly fitting shoes which are either too narrow at the front or too short, in both cases putting pressure on your toes.
  • Pressure on the foot from regular use of high heeled shoes, the higher the greater the risk.  Avoid anything over 75mm.
  • Toe injury.
  • Unusual high foot arch.
  • Arthritis.
  • Pressure from a bunion.
  • Second toe longer than the first.
  • Imbalance in muscles, ligaments or tendons that hold the bones.
  • Tightened ligaments.
  • Family history

How to reduce risk of forming a Hammer Toe

  • Wear well fitting shoes that give your toes space.
  • Treat corns and bunions.
  • Use cushions or pads in case of high arch feet.

Treatment of Hammer Toe

If you develop Hammer Toe, the first person to see is your local Podiatrist.

Mild conditions of Hammer Toe can be resolved by physio therapy including exercises.

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Michelle Gibson
MSc, BSc, PGCE, MRCoP, Podiatrist
Michelle has over 30 years of experience in the NHS, private practice, and the commercial sector and is driven by her profound passion for podiatry and the wellbeing of our customers.