A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Hammer Toe
I had a question the other day about hammer toe.
Hammer toes are toes bent into an odd position.
They may look strange or may hurt, or both.
These toe problems almost always happen in your 4 smaller toes, not your big toe.
A hammer toe bends down toward the floor at your middle toe joint.
This causes your middle toe joint to rise up.
It usually affects your second toe.
Hammer toes often occur with bunions.
If you notice your toe looks odd or hurts, you may be able to fix your toe with home treatment.
Tight shoes are the most common cause of this toe problem.
Wearing tight shoes can cause your toe muscles to get out of balance.
If a shoe forces your toe to stay in a bent position for too long, your muscles tighten and your tendons shorten, or contract.
This makes it harder to straighten your toe.
Over time, your toe muscles can’t straighten your toe, even when you aren’t wearing shoes.
This toe problem forms over years and is common in adults.
Less often, this toe problem is linked with other conditions, like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, or an injury to the foot or ankle.
Besides looking odd, hammer toes may:
>Make it hard to find shoes that fit.
>Rub against your footwear.
In more severe cases, this problem may affect your balance and make it hard to walk.
You can probably treat your toe joint problem at home.
If you start right away, you may be able to avoid surgery.
>Change your footwear. Choose shoes with roomy toe boxes, low heels, and good arch supports. Sandals or athletic shoes that don’t rub on your toe may be a good option.
>Use products cushioning your toe or holding your foot in a more comfortable position, like moleskin, pads, arch supports, or other shoe inserts.
>Care for any calluses or corns on your feet. Moleskin and other treatments may help relieve pain. Never cut corns or calluses, because this can lead to infection.
If your toe joint is flexible, you can also try:
>Taping a hammer toe. Wrap tape under your big toe (or your toe next to the hammer toe), then over the hammer toe, and then under the next toe. This gently forces the hammer toe into a normal position.
>Toe caps, slings, or splints. These hold toes in a normal position, like taping does.
>Exercises to help keep your toe joints flexible and strong, like those listed below.
>>Gently pull on your toes to stretch the bent joints. For example, if a joint bends up, gently stretch it down. Hold for several seconds. You should feel a long, slow, gentle pull. Work on one joint at a time. Do this several times, morning and evening.
>>Do towel curls. Put a towel flat under your feet and use your toes to crumple it.
>>Do marble pickups. Use your toes to pick up marbles and drop them in a cup.
In general, surgery is used only for severe toe problems.
To deal with hammer toe it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells, thins mucus, and flushes toxins.
*Increase Omega3/omega6 essential fats.
*Keep a balanced pH.
*Tea Tree Oil is an antibacterial topical treatment.
*Epsom salts baths may be beneficial/soothing.
*Consider liver and/or colon cleanses, fasting, and/or juicing.
*Review my post on candida.
*Consider aloe vera (gel from inside fresh leaves is best).
*Eliminate toxic personal care, laundry and cleaning products.
*Eliminate personal care products that upset skin’s natural pH.
*Decrease excessive sun exposure.
*Decrease exposure to chlorinated shower/bath water, pools and hot tubs.
*Improve your digestion and elimination processes.
*Discover allergies/sensitivities (food and/or environmental) that may trigger or aggravate condition.
*Eliminate free radical damage.