About Claw Toes
A claw toe is a toe that is contracted at the joints (middle and end joints in the toe). This can lead to severe pressure and pain. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to curl downwards.
The claw may occur in any toe, except the big toe. There is often discomfort at the top part of the toe that is rubbing against the shoe and at the end of the toe that is pressed against the bottom of the shoe.
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What Causes Claw Toes?
Claw toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. This results in the joints curling downwards.
Arthritis can also lead to many different forefoot deformities, including Claw Toes.
Treatment and Prevention
The claw-type deformities are usually flexible at first, but they harden into place over time. You may be wise to consider:
- wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and avoiding tight shoes and high-heels.
- use your hands to stretch your toes and toe joints toward their normal positions.
- exercise your toes by using them to pick up marbles or crumple a towel laid flat on the floor.
- If you have claw toe in the later stages and your toes are fixed in position: use a special pad to redistribute your weight and relieve pressure on the ball of your foot.
- try special deep shoes that have extra depth in the toe box.
Ask a shoe repair shop to stretch a small pocket in the toe box to accommodate the deformity. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the deformity from a Podiatric Surgeon. Common surgeries to correct claw toes include tendon release, joint release, or metatarsal shortening.