How Best to Deal With Hammer, Claw and Mallet Toes?

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Moving around on a day to day basis means that we are bound to face various physical challenges, especially in the feet. As such, taking good care of the feet is imperative for every mobile individual. The hammer, claw and mallet toes are common toe complications. For those who are not aware, these are the standard foot issues that affect most people today. The mallet toes often occur if the joint on the toes face upwards, rather than sitting flat. It is a deformity, that occurs due to weak toe muscles, and increased pressure on the given toe area. The condition is often accompanied by callus or corn on top of the compromised toe. The outgrowth that results can lead to pain when walking. The claw toe is a complication that often causes the toe to bend at the middle and end sections. On the contrary, a mallet toe only the joint at the end of the toe is affected. Dealing with these complications an informed approach to achieve the best results.

Causes of Hammer, Mallet and Claw toes

Wearing tight shoes is the first common cause of these foot complications. In particular, wearing tight shoes affects the physical structure of the foot and affect the normal balance. As such, the user’s feet are put in an unusual position for long durations. Putting the feet in such unusual positions affects the structure of muscle, in that it causes the tendons to contract. This then makes it difficult for users to stretch their toes. These complications often develop over the years and are popular among the adults. Usually, women are affected by the condition more than men, because they more often wear shoes that are narrow. Only in race circumstances do these feet complications relate to health complications such as rheumatoid, stroke, and arthritis.


A physical health professional will inquire about your symptoms and past health. More so, he might also perform a physical exam. Some of the questions asked often relate to:

  • When you first noticed the problem and the physical activities of footwear that makes the pain worse
  • The type of footwear that you use including casual and work shoes
  • Any previous physical health and foot complications you have experienced in the past
  • The occurrence of toe complications in your family lineage
  • Any current medications and prescription medications that you take

NB: During the physical exam, the medical professional might evaluate your foot to determine the nature of the issue. A joint that retains optimal mobility can be corrected without any surgery.

How to Treat the Problem

Usually, the hammer, claw and mallet toes are simple to treat through DIY techniques. If using the proper methods, you can avoid the hassles of foot surgery. Consider these tips:

Use the Correct Footwear

The first step is to choose that have sufficient room for the toes to move around and optimal arch support. In most cases, using the incorrect or poorly made footwear are leading causes of foot issues. In particular, using shoes that are tight, and poorly structured can increase the occurrence of such toe complications. Sandals and open shoes that don’t compromise the movement of the toe are excellent. Slippers are also a good option, since they usually leave lots of room for your toes. Sneakers are another option, if you can afford to wear those for the lion’s share of your (working) day. Clogs are a good example of footwear that is non binding, meaning it doesn’t exert any pressure on your toes. You can also consider using custom made shoes or shoes developed for people with foot complications.

Use Brogues That Cushion

You also have to use products that provide optimal cushioning for your toe, especially if you are prone to such types of injury. Choosing good shoes requires research and proper choices. This way, you reduce the likelihood of foot complications. The ideal shoe comes with arch supports, shoe inserts, toe tubes and more. These are excellent for addressing toe issues, and they can also use to gain relief for a painful toe.

Use over the Counter Medications

While these medications won’t necessarily treat the problem, they can help in reducing the pain. The common medications include ibuprofen, naproxen, Tylenol and more. However, confirm with a medical professional when you want to use these types of medication.

Toe First Aid

There are various techniques you can use to perform first aid for your toe. Using toe first aid techniques provide a convenient way to manage toe injury at home. For instance, you can wrap tape to wrap the roe to shield against additional injury uniquely. This helps to restore the natural position of the toe and does its simple to apply as well. You can also use sling and splints, made be a physical health expert.

When Does it Require Surgery?

Usually, surgery only applies when the hammer, claw and mallet complications are severe. You might require surgery if the treatment is not effective in controlling the pain. More so, you might require surgery if the complication compromises your toe activity, or if you can’t move the joint. For advanced toe complications, doctors often recommend surgery as the best solution. The surgery might involve a delicate procedure where muscles such as tendon and bones and restructured. Amputation is an option only in rare cases. When you opt for surgery as a treatment option, consider the following:

  • Surgery only helps to reduce foot pain and not necessarily the foot aesthetics
  • Surgery is a medical process associated with issues such as swelling, infection, and pain
  • It is a process that comes at a higher cost than most treatment methods
  • You doctor will have to evaluate your health to determine whether you are eligible for the process
  • You doctor may also prescribe painkillers and recommend that you avoid closed shoes for a specific duration

Bottom line

Treating toe complications is a simple process, and you can easily avoid the hassles of surgery if you start early. These three conditions have varying characteristics and might require specialized solutions to achieve the best treatment results. Generally, you will have to invest in the appropriate footwear, and keep your feet comfortable at all times. More so, since the condition occurs due to weak bones and muscles, you will benefit from consuming a balanced diet.

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