Muscle Imbalance That Hammers Your Toes

There are some great rock faces on the Front Range of the Rockies near Denver. Groups like Denver Mountain Guiding offer instruction and guided climbs in favorite spots like Clear Creek Canyon or Three Sisters Park. They’ll teach you everything from hammering in pitons to finding the tiniest toe holds. There is a type of hammer that could restrict your ability to climb, though—hammertoes.

This toe deformity occurs from a variety of causes, including injury, diseases like arthritis or diabetes, foot structure problems (high arch, bunions), and tight ligaments or tendons. They can also be the result of wearing the wrong type of shoes.

With this condition, the middle joint of one of your smaller toes (most often the second or third) stays in a bent position, resembling an upside-down letter V—or the head of a hammer. The joint rubs against your shoes, causing pain and possibly a corn at the point of friction. The tip, being bent down, presses harder on your shoes and can form a callus. The bent toe can also throw off your balance. You could see why this deformity could cause a problem when you are hammering up a rock face, searching for a secure toehold.

As soon as you notice that your toe is bent up in the middle—even if you can still straighten it out—come and see us. We can evaluate the condition of your muscles, tendons, ligaments to see why it is happening. We can also conduct nerve function and circulation tests to determine whether any underlying medical conditions could be contributing to your hammertoes. A gait analysis and check for developing bunions could also help with diagnosis.

Many times, your toes can be treated with conservative methods like stretches, padding and taping, custom orthotics, pain relievers, and the like. Only in serious cases, where the toe is extremely rigid and painful, will we consider surgery to correct the imbalance.

Toe pain and bent joints are not normal and should be evaluated. Call (303) 423-2520 today and let the foot specialists at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, CO, help you with your hammertoe problem.

Author
Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to do About Recurrent Ingrown Toenails

Is your toe inflamed and tender again? Ingrown nails are an all-too-common foot complaint, but unfortunately, some people tend to suffer from them more often than others. Continue reading to learn what you can do about recurrent ingrown toenails.

All About Achilles Tendinitis

You probably don’t often think about your Achilles tendon — that is, until it’s hurt. Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition that can cause a lot of pain. Keep reading to learn more about Achilles tendinitis and what treatments are available.

Sesamoiditis: Will Orthotics Help?

Are you having pain that’s focused right under your big toe? It could be due to a condition known as sesamoiditis. If the pain is affecting your mobility, you need treatment fast. Take a few moments to learn if orthotics can help your sesamoid pain.

4 Signs of an Ankle Stress Fracture

Are you experiencing pain in your ankle, and wonder if you may have a stress fracture? A stress fracture can only be diagnosed by using an imaging scan such as an X-ray, but there are a few warning signs to look for when you suspect a fracture.

Why Are Flat Feet Problematic?

Flat feet are more than just a cosmetic issue; they can also significantly impact your health. Learn more about why flat feet are problematic and how you can get help.

Why Do I Have Bunions?

You’re long past the stage of blaming your parents for the disappointments of life. But if you’re troubled by bunions, your parents — or grandparents — may be at fault. You’re not wearing the wrong shoes; you inherited the wrong feet.