After you were diagnosed with a hammertoe in Philadelphia, you may have thrown out all of your narrow or pointy-toed shoes, hoping that the ill-fitting footwear was the cause of all your woes.

While that may have been a good start, the truth is the causes of hammertoes can run deeper—maybe all the way back into your family tree.

When your toes are squeezed together, the muscles that control them do not have room to flex properly. This causes a muscle imbalance that puts pressure on the toe's tendons and joints, forcing them into the familiar “hammer” shape. Most people assume that shoes are the reason their feet are suffering, but genetics can greatly affect your chances of suffering a hammertoe.

Here are three ways inherited conditions can cause toe deformities in Media:

  • Foot shape. People who are born with flat feet, wide feet, or long toes may have a greater chance of to developing hammertoes because their feet are less likely to have enough room to move in a standard shoe.
  • Arthritis. Patients who already suffer from joint problems such as arthritis are likely to have deformities in their fingers and toes.
  • Diabetes. Foot conditions such as hammertoes can be life threatening for diabetes sufferers, since many diabetics will not be able to feel a foot injury until it has become severely infected.

If you have not seen any relief while treating painful hammertoes at home, the podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates can help you find a solution. Call us today at 610-565-3668 in Media or at 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up your first consultation. 

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