Have you noticed an abnormal bend in one or more of your toes? Do your toes overlap one another or appear clawed? These deformities in the toes can make you feel self-conscious, but they can also feel supremely uncomfortable as well.
Even if you think you can tolerate the discomfort, you will likely also notice mobility concerns. With crookedness in your toes, you will distribute uneven pressure when walking or running, which can lead to many other problems in your feet.
Do not ignore these alignment issues in your toes. Contact your podiatrist to evaluate your condition and find a solution. Learn more about toe deformities by reading on.
What Causes Toes to Misalign?
Crooked toes can occur for a number of reasons. Toes might overlap one another due to your gait, such as if the feet roll inward when walking. Bunions and flat feet can also lead to joint problems that may lead to misalignment in the toes.
An injury or even age can create this problem too. But a major cause of these deformities in the toes stems from the continuous wearing of shoes and other footwear that do not fit properly. It squeezes the toes, creating damage to them over time.
A hammertoe refers to a condition in which a toe remains permanently bent. This happens when the muscles and tendons within the toe become unbalanced. Then they stay stuck in this claw-like position. It can stem from similar sources as overlapping toes, especially ill-fitting footwear.
Can My Podiatrist Fix Crooked Toes?
To avoid further harm to your toes and feet, you should speak to a podiatrist about fixing crookedness in the alignment of your toes. The doctor will likely begin with more conservative solutions, including wearing shoes with plenty of room in the toes. They can also give you special pads or splints that will work to straighten the toes in your footwear.
More severe deformities in the toes might need surgical solutions. Especially rigid hammertoes for instance will need a small procedure to release the affected muscle or tendon to straighten the toe. This should be outpatient therapy with only several weeks of downtime.
How Can I Prevent Toe Misalignment?
If you worry about misalignment in your toes, you can take measures to prevent the formation of toe deformities. An easy way to protect your feet is to wear footwear that fits comfortably. Avoid shoes that feel too tight, especially in the toes, and steer clear of high heels that put abnormal pressure on the feet.
Your podiatrist can recommend certain stretches and strengthening exercises for your feet that can reduce the chances of toes becoming crooked. Talk to your podiatrist for an evaluation regarding your risk for toe deformities. And they can also let you know the best way to keep your feet and toes looking and feeling their best.
If you do notice toes starting to overlap or grow crooked, do not ignore the issue. Earlier treatment can make the problem easier to resolve.