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How To Prevent Hammer Toe: A Comprehensive Guide For Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a common foot condition that can cause discomfort and affect mobility. If you’re experiencing symptoms of hammer toe or seeking options, you’ve come to the right place. At Michigan Avenue Podiatry, we specialize in foot health and offer a range of services, including non-surgical treatments and surgical options for hammer toe treatment. In this article, we’ll discuss effective ways to prevent and treat hammer toe, as well as answer some common questions about the condition.

1. Choose Proper Footwear

Proper footwear is essential for preventing and managing hammer toe. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box and low heels to reduce pressure on the toes. Avoid narrow, pointed, or high-heeled shoes that can exacerbate the condition.

2. Practice Toe Exercises

Toe exercises can strengthen the muscles in your feet and help prevent hammer toe. Try picking up small objects with your toes, stretching them out, and rolling a small ball or towel with your feet to improve flexibility and mobility.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight can put added pressure on your feet and toes, increasing the risk of developing hammer toe. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to reduce strain on your feet.

4. Wear Orthotic Inserts

Orthotic inserts or shoe inserts can provide additional support and cushioning for your feet, reducing the risk of developing hammer toe. Custom orthotics, prescribed by a podiatrist, can address specific foot issues and help correct imbalances in your foot structure.

5. Avoid Tight Socks or Hosiery

Wearing tight socks or hosiery can restrict blood flow to your toes and exacerbate hammer toe symptoms. Choose socks and hosiery made from breathable materials that allow for proper ventilation and circulation in your feet.

6. Be Mindful of Foot Positioning

Pay attention to the positioning of your feet and toes during daily activities. Avoid crossing your legs for extended periods or tucking your toes under your feet while sitting, as these habits can contribute to the development of hammer toe over time.

7. Seek Prompt Treatment for Foot Issues

If you experience foot pain, discomfort, or changes in toe alignment, seek prompt treatment from a podiatrist. Early intervention can help prevent the progression of hammer toe and minimize the need for invasive treatments such as surgery.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About How to Prevent Hammer Toe:

Q1: What’s causing the hammertoe?

A: Hammertoe can be caused by various factors, including wearing ill-fitting shoes, toe injuries, genetic predisposition, and certain medical conditions like arthritis or diabetes. It occurs when the muscles and ligaments in the toes become imbalanced, leading to a bending or curling of the toe joints.

Q2: Which treatments will I need?

A: The treatment for hammertoe depends on its severity. Non-surgical options may include wearing proper footwear, using orthotic inserts, performing toe exercises, and managing underlying conditions contributing to the condition. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the deformity and alleviate symptoms.

Q3: When would you recommend surgery?

A: Surgery for hammertoe may be recommended if conservative treatments fail to provide relief or if the deformity is causing significant pain, difficulty walking, or other complications. Your podiatrist will assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan based on your individual needs.


Preventing and treating hammer toe requires proactive foot care and attention to your footwear and daily habits. By following these tips and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can maintain healthy feet and reduce the risk of developing or worsening hammer toe. If you have any concerns or questions about your foot health, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist at Michigan Avenue Podiatry. We’re here to help you achieve optimal foot health and well-being.

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