Most people don’t really think about “preventing” hammertoes—more likely, you don’t give them a second thought until they show up. However, hammertoes are fairly common (especially among women) and tend to run in families, so if you have a mother or grandmother with the condition, practicing good foot health and hammertoe prevention strategies can greatly minimize your risk.
By far, the most important and sensible advice: make smart choices when shoe shopping! Comfortable shoes that support your feet, don’t put excess pressure on your toes, and don’t cram your toes together are what you want. Other shoe selection tips:
- No heels taller than 2 inches.
- Most people have one foot larger than the other, and feet tend to swell a bit by the end of the day. Do your shoe shopping at the end of the day to be sure the pair fits your larger foot, at its maximum size. There should be no “break in” period—it should fit comfortably the moment you put it on.
- Feet usually get larger as you get older. Even if you’ve been a size 7 for 40 years, still measure your feet every time you need a new pair.
- Choose sturdy shoes. There should be some flex near the toes at the ball of the foot, but you shouldn’t be able to significantly bend or twist anywhere else along the sole.
If you’re experiencing foot pain or foot pain problems run in your family, it’s also a good idea to get a check up to see if there are any structural issues that can be addressed with an over-the-counter insert or custom orthotics. Detecting and accommodating any biomechanical problems at an early stage can slow the progression of any deformities or prevent them from happening in the first place.
For more great tips on prevention, treatment, and home care, keeping reading our blogs or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA, request a time online or give our office a call at 760-568-0108.