Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have hammertoes? Probably not, but imagine what it feels like to squeeze your feet into a pair of shoes that are too small around the toes. The joints and bones of your toes get cramped up against the box of your shoe, an uncomfortable experience that can quickly lead to fatigue and pain. Hammertoe is basically the equivalent to this uncomfortable experience, except the toes develop a deformity which keeps them in a constant cramped state. The muscles and ligaments within the toes constantly strain in an unnatural position.
What causes hammertoe?
A common cause can arise from wearing ill-fitting shoes, which may seem like a no-brainer! Another common cause, despite the shoes fitting correctly, can be footwear like high heels that bring all of the weight onto the toes. This pressure causes an imbalance in the toe muscles and can reduce flexibility. While some cases of hammertoe are mild and can be corrected with treatment prescribed by your podiatrist, Dr. Michele Kurlanski, some cases are severe enough that they require surgical intervention.
Cases of hammertoe that have been left untreated can lead to impaired or complete immobility of the toes, resulting in not being able to flex or extend the toes at all. In some cases, hammertoe doesn’t worsen for a long time, or at all. This can cause people to overlook the discomfort in their toes and blame it on their shoes simply being uncomfortable! If you have discomfort or pain in your toes, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Kurlanski. Call (207) 774-0028 today to schedule your next appointment at our podiatry office in Scarborough, Maine!