hammer toes: What Causes Them, How to Treat Them
This is Tom Biernacki and today I’m gon na go over the small little toes and their tendons down here.So you could see, there’s a lot of little ligaments and tendons So does stretching and working out help these tendons and ligaments.The answer is, sometimes it does, but other times people are wasting money and time, And it makes me feel bad for you because I know you’re working hard.So we’re gon na go over, what’s actually proven and what actually works and we’re starting right now So hammer toes are the bending right here of your little toes.This has three types There’s mallet toes, which is the tip of the toe There’s claw toes, which is both the joints in the toe and then there’s hammertoes, which is just the proximal interphalangeal joints.For our purposes, they’re all the same, They cause corns, they cause calluses.They cause a rubbing between your toes.This is a progressive deformity.This means, when you’re younger and it’s starting out it’s a soft toe that you can straighten.
hammer toes: Causes and Symptoms
So these little stretchable devices can help But as you get older, arthritis starts to happen between your joints, So between the joints right here it starts to get stiff and arthritic And really even using your hands, you can’t bend it back into place.This is where sometimes people think surgery is the only option.What are symptoms of hammer toes So here’s what happens is your toes are basically curled like this with a hammer toe And what happens is inside your shoe, your toes, don’t fit you get calluses you get corns, it causes numbness burning tingling, It starts making your foot ache.Causes are the big thing.I’M gon na show you something crazy.That’S gon na blow your mind.When I stand on my foot and I put pressure on it, look at what happens See how the foot bends out like that.So what happens is when you look at the bottom of the foot?You could see that there’s tendons that run down here.
Fixing Your Flat Foot Can Fix Your hammer toes
So when I actually get rid of the muscles you can see I’m gon na zoom up here the muscles actually come down the inside of your ankle right here.So right there, the muscles come down the inside of your ankle.So you can see at the same time there’s muscles and tendons and ligaments across the top of your foot connecting into the tip of the toe.So.What happens is when your foot’s straight most young people, see their hammer toes are straight, but when you stand on your foot, the toes claw into the ground by themselves – And that has nothing to do with the actual toe.It’S your ankle, flattening out because of your flat foot, So your knee’s buckling in your hip’s sore your foot’s twisting out.That’s.Why you get hammer toes claw, toes and mallet toes People don’t realize this, They always keep treating their hammertoe and they never fixed their flat foot.Their body weight their flexibility.
Causes of hammer toes: biomechanics and shoes
So this guide is gon na show you what works for me, because this stuff that you’re reading online doesn’t work in everybody.So the top five causes of hammertoes are biomechanics, so number one.If your foots flattening out those tendons gets so tight that your toes claw but you’ll notice, when you’re sitting on the couch the toes are correctable.This is why these stretching devices feel like they’re working because you’re using them when you’re sitting on your butt.But when you stand your toes claw again, that’s the big problem Cause number two.This is a small amount of people, but sometimes when people have a spine injury, a back injury, sore, hips, sciatic, nerve issues, the muscles can spasm because of nerve problems.But this isn’t the main cause.The number one cause is the biomechanics Cause.Number three is shoes that are too tight.If you have pointy shoes in the front, it’s gon na crumple, your toes, especially if you don’t fit your shoes properly.
Causes of hammer toe and Treatment
So here’s our link to our guide on how to fit your shoes properly Highly highly recommended if you watch or if you order shoes online Another one is: if you break your pinky toe or you break your little toe, that’s a different cause.So if you jam it and break it, that can cause a hammer toe because that’s arthritis because you have a broken toe.And.Another problem is crossover toes If you have a bunion like this, your toe’s gon na cross over This isn’t a hammer toe problem.It’S that inside your shoe.Your second toe has nowhere to go because the big toe joint’s crossing over So watch our bunion treatment guide, But we’re still gon na give you some good solutions.So how do you diagnose a hammer toe Unbiased as a podiatrist, but when we see people we have to see if it is a hammer toe, So sometimes we get x-rays and we see it’s actually a broken toe or the shoe’s just too tight and it’s not even really a hammer.Toe And number two is: why is this hammer toe happening So we have to evaluate?
How to Diagnose and Treat hammer toes
Are you tight in your hamstring?Are you tight in your calf Are you tight in your ankle?Are your ligaments scarred?Are your tendons destroyed?These all have different solutions, and this diagnosis and proper diagnosis is really the key to a great solution.The diagnosis is probably more important than the treatment Although we got great treatments coming up for you And getting an X ray, it’s gon na show, if there’s arthritis in the joint so surgery, We do a lot of surgery on hammer toes, but the more I’ve done these, the less.I want to do them because the solutions are really the overall biomechanics and the real cause.Surgeries are basically, you could could put a pin in it or small little pins that don’t stick out of your toe while you heal.This is called a fusion of the joint that basically guarantees a stiff joint for the rest of your life.But these have long healing times.
hammer toes: Recovery Time And Medications
I always tell people recovery time for hammer toes, especially if you put a pin or a piece of metal in there is about 50 % improvement in six weeks. 75 % pain improvement in about three months and about 95 % improvement at about six months.So it’s a long time.I mean you’re in a surgical shoe for a month, then you’re back in shoes for about two to three months, but it takes a long time.There is percutaneous procedures, but these are for very arthritic or diabetic patients who are developing ulcers.So what I would recommend is, if you’re, not developing ulcers, if you’re, not developing, true pain, there’s a lot of stuff we can do before.We even consider surgery, Medications Medications make the toe feel better, but they don’t actually solve anything.How is an ibuprofen gon na solve it?It’Ll make it feel better, But if you keep causing the same pain icing medication, the creams, they won’t really solve it.
Over The Counter Inserts Don’t Work Well If You Have Hammertoe
Gel pads like this can work really well, If you’re developing just calluses and corns gel pads like this, they do work well, but really they just stop the rubbing.They don’t fix the hammertoe Same thing.With the stretching devices the yoga devices, People will sometimes wear those pedicure type straightening devices that go between your toes.Listen, I’m not doubting these make your toes feel better.They do They hold your toes straight, but going back to that example, if your foot flattens out and your tendons get tight, what difference did stretching make, So you could have wore that stretching device, your whole life, but if you’re 400 pounds, if you have a knee problem, if You have a back problem if you have a hip problem, that’s making you come down and walk inappropriately.Your tendons are gon na get tight and it’s gon na cause that hammer.Low cost over the counter inserts, which are linked down in the show notes.
How inserts will not work for people with hammer toe
If you want a low cost one but kinda, how I showed you look at how much my foot flattens out without the insert Here’s proof that inserts will work for your tight tendon Boom.Look at that I’M pushing down it doesn’t flatten out Right there, that’s it.These things are so cheap now for $ 20 $ 30.What have you got to lose?Here’S?Why inserts don’t work for people, shoes, their shoe’s, too small and the insert takes up even more room.So what I would recommend is make sure your shoe’s big enough to hold an insert Sometimes you have to go up a size to a full size.Number two is so you can see right here.I have a nice custom insert and what happens is I put that into my shoe and then let me show you this.Mesh in the front mesh on the side.So what happens is with bent toes when I’m pushing on the toes right there, a properly fitted shoe should have mesh in all the right areas.This is tough with dress shoes because they have stitching especially leather shoes, lower quality shoes.
hammer toe Pain: What You Should Know
They have stitching where the toes are This is what causes the hammer, toe pain and the bunion pain and the rubbing Realistically, I’ve seen patients with terrible hammertoes with end stage, arthritis and bunions, but if they switch to the right shoe, which they didn’t care about in the first place, they just know we’re Saving $ 5, they skip the surgery pretty much.All their pain goes away And yeah you have a hammer toe, but when you’re older, who cares Realistically, if you’re looking at it from a visual standpoint, that’s a different story, but it can remove your pain without doing surgery and that’s the benefit Stretching and muscle.Strengthening.Does help, but it’s not stretching of your toes So see these right here, What people don’t realize is that these, actually these muscles are actually up in your calf, So you could see the tendons running through your ankle and up into your calf, So stretching your toes doesn’t actually do anything.
Hammertoe Prevention and Treatment: How to Stretch and Massage Yourself
Strengthening your toes doesn’t actually do anything.The trick is to stretch your calf muscle, your ankle, your knee, your hamstring, so that when you walk, your foot doesn’t flatten out to the side.So if you move straight up and down like this, see how that perfectly moves up, rather than doing that, That’s what keeps your tendons from tightening and curling.So this is how you skip surgery.This is how massage and stretching actually help you It loosens up your calf muscle, your hamstring muscles, your feet, Don’t get me wrong.The stretching devices make your feet feel better because they massage the site of pain, but it doesn’t actually prevent future deformity, (, lighthearted, music, )
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