Hammertoes is the bending or contracture of one or two joints of the toes. It occurs when the muscles of the toes are compacted, sometimes due to wearing the wrong footwear. Normal toes extend forward will a natural somewhat downward curvature. However, hammertoes cause the toes to bend at the middle joint, often on the second, third, fourth and sometimes the fifth toe. One of the treatment options for hammertoes is exercise, which this article covers in detail.
EXERCISES FOR HAMMERTOES
Exercises are necessary for hammertoes because the condition, which starts as minor deformities, can worsen progressively over time. Initially, hammertoes are flexible and patients can manage the symptoms with noninvasive treatment. If neglected, hammertoes can become stiffer and treatment may require a surgical procedure. The following are hammertoes exercises:
Crunch is an exercise for abs, but this type of crunch is for the toes. To perform this, the person needs to sit comfortably in a chair and remove any sock on the affect foot. Place a towel on the floor and place the upper half of the foot on the towel. Keep the heel still on the ground and use the toes to crunch up the towel. Release the toes and repeat the process for about 10 to 12 times.
Tapping exercises can take the same position as for toe crunches. Keeping the feet base, extend the big toe down facing the floor and extend the rest of the toes up in the air. Retain this position and tap the floor lightly with the toes. Perform 10 to 12 taps before changing the toe placement, such that the big toe points upward and the other toes face down, then repeat the taps.
Using a towel, the person can stretch their toes to lengthen the contracted muscles. To do this, take a sit on the floor with the legs stretched out in front. Wrap a towel around the toes and pull it backward. Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. It is also possible to pull the toes back using hands.
Toe rolls is like tapping fingers from side to side. Stand on a flat surface barefooted. Raise every toe off the ground at the same time and roll them individually from the fifth toe to the big toe. Raise them and repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times before changing directions.
This exercise can be done in a seated position. Put the affected foot over the thigh in a comfortable position. Slide fingers in between the toes and squeeze them together, pinching the fingers. Release them and repeat the process 10 to 12 times. If it is hard to do it with every toe, begin with one finger between two toes and continue from there.
The floor grip exercise addresses the pads on the toes. Standing barefooted, stretch out the toes to straighten them and push the toe pads against the floor. The straightening and pressing routine helps to rearrange the bones in the hammertoe.
Aside from performing the routine exercises, wearing properly fitting footwear is also essential. If exercises do you seem to be working for hammertoes, ensure you contact your podiatrist for an appointment.
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