Toe Conditions : Hammer Toes, Claw Toes, Ingrown Toe Nails
Hammer Toes can occur in all but the big toe and occurs in women nine times more frequently than in men. It is a toe that is raised and may cause pressure and pain. In claw toes, the toe curls under so the tip (end) of the toe is pressed against the bottom of the shoe. Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe. They are a result of the nail growing downward into the skin and nail bed.
These Toe Ailments are common and are usually associated with improperly-fitted footwear. Please contact your local Birkenstock retailer about their healthy footwear recommendations. Birkenstock has many products that can help with Hammer Toe, Claw Toe, and Ingrown Toenails.
With hammer and claw toes, the toes will be bent upward from the middle joint. Claw toes may have tenderness on the tip of the toe. With ingrown toenails, you may experience infection of the skin around the nail, irritation, redness and sensation of warmth from infection as well as skin swelling around the nail.
Hammer Toe, Claw Toe, and Ingrown Toenails are all common Toe Ailments. The common causes for each are listed below:
Hammer & Claw Toes
- Muscle imbalance that causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight.
- Conditions such as Diabetes, Arthritis or chronic inflammation
- May be associated with neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy
- Poorly fitting and constricting footwear
- Abnormally long toes
- Tight shoes that cause excessive pressure on the nail bed
- People who have Arthritis or other conditions where the toes are susceptible to ingrown toe nails
- Trauma to the toe from pounding while running, stubbing the toe or having the toe stepped on
Prevention & Treatment:
Check with your health care provider (family doctor or Podiatrist) to find the best solution for you. You can reduce the risk by following these simple guidelines:
Hammer & Claw Toes
- Avoid high heels
- Wear shoes with a roomy toe box
- Perform foot muscle stretch and strengthening exercises
- Place metatarsal pads behind toes to reduce pressure
- Surgery if more conservative measures don’t significantly reduce pain
- To prevent future ingrown toenails, cut nails straight across so the toenail corners are visible
- Soak feet in warm salty water, dry, apply antiseptic and bandage the toe
- Consult your health care provider if toe becomes infected (red, warm, yellowish drainage)