Our legs and feet are naturally engineered for maximum stabilization and mobility, and toes are crucial for the healthy foot functionality. In fact, just like other parts of our feet, our toes are complex structures that help us balance as we walk and run. However, daily travel, stress, and improper care can take a toll on our feet. As a result, pain creeps in and we may suffer from one of many foot and ankle disorders such as clawed toes, deformed toes or bunions. Of these, deformed toes and bunions are common disorders that majority of the people suffer. It’s necessary to learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment of these common foot disorders.
This toe disorder is also known as hammertoes. In this disorder, second, third or fourth toe bends causing a permanent bend that appears like a hammer. Hammertoes can be quite painful due to the pressure on the joints.
Hammertoes can be caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Ill-fitting shoes can force your toes into a bent position. If your toe remains bent for a long time then it forces the toe muscle to shorten, resulting in a painful toe deformity. Often, deformed toes are found in conjunction with bunions or other foot disorders. Hammertoes can also occur due to joint or nerve damage, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and osteoarthritis.
To alleviate pain and pressure due to Hammertoes you can switch to new, soft shoes with a wider space for your toes. This will help avoid crowding of the toes. Orthotics, shoe inserts, foam or gel separators and toe caps can also offer good relief from discomfort and pain. It is always better to see a podiatrist as early as possible so that you can get the right deformed toes treatment and avoid surgery, which becomes inevitable if your toes become more painful and rigid.
Bunion is another common toe injury that needs medical attention. Medically, it is known as Hallux Valgus. A bunion can be easily spotted as it is a big lump on a side of your foot on the big toe. Prominently, it’s a structured deformity of the joint and bones of the big toe that causes a lot of pain while moving. It is observed that bunions are more prominent among the women due to the types of shoes they wear.
Often, bunions are an inherited disorder. Their symptoms range from inflammation, skin irritation, pain to a reddish appearance around the lump. The big toe leans toward the other toes and causes a lot of pain while walking. Usually, bunions are caused due to abnormalities when the ligaments and tendons no longer function appropriately. Other causes of bunions are abnormal bone structure, flat feet and genetic factors. Also, narrow-fitted footwear can aggravate the problem. If not treated at an earlier stage, it can lead to arthritis of your big toe joint.
Wearing wider footwear with extra padding or orthotics can help heal bunions quickly. You can go for toe separators, bunion spacers and bunion splints. (such as five finger shoes, Traditional shoes press toes together. Five-finger shoes slowly stretched them out, encouraging big toe to work. view more: 10 Benifits of Five Finger Shoes) If the deformity is severe, it is advisable to visit an efficient foot and ankle podiatrist as early as possible to get it operated. Surgery of bunions involves the removal of bony enlargement on the side of foot, correcting abnormal misalignment of the toe and realignment and straightening of the big toe. Also, your health, age and lifestyle play a major role in deciding whether your bunion needs to be operated or not.