Toes that are bent upward at the first joint, and downward at the next two joints are called claw toes. This condition often affects all four toes at the same time resembling a claw. Mallet toes are so named since they bend at the toe tip, and hammer toes bend downward at the middle joint.
When your toes bend in these unusual ways, they can rub against the inside of your shoes or against each other, resulting in the development of corns, calluses, and blisters.
For toes that are in the initial stages of the condition and are still flexible, you can help to straighten them out using the following treatments and exercises:
1) Wear the right shoes - Make sure your footwear has plenty of extra room in the toe box for your toes to move and for the placement of inserts.
2) Pads, supports, and orthotic inserts - Custom orthotic shoe inserts and moleskin pads will keep the toes and the foot in the correct position while decreasing friction. Specially designed splints can be worn at night to help straighten the toes.
3) Pain relieving medications - Ibuprofen may be used for pain relief and to reduce swelling.
4) Strength and flexibility exercises - Exercises like toe scrunches with a small towel will help to improve strength and flexibility and help straighten the toes.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from toe deformities, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!