Hammer toe is common among women and children, but many people are not aware of what it is – a deformity of the toe, in which the end of the toe is bent downward.
The condition may be present at birth or develop over time.
Women often develop the condition by wearing ill-fitting shoes, while children develop it by wearing shoes they have outgrown for too long.
The end of the toe may bend down, creating a claw-like deformity. In severe cases, it may start to look like the image below.
Image via Peninsula Foot Care.
Fortunately, it is possible for most people to avoid hammer toe. MedLine Plus offers the following suggestions:
- Wear the right size shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, and to avoid making hammer toe worse.
- Avoid high heels as much as possible.
- Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe.
- Protect the joint that is sticking out with corn pads or felt pads.