If your toes are bending downward, it is most likely due to a deformity. Three of the most common toe problems include hammertoe, mallet toe and claw toe. The difference between these three toe deformities is which joint in the toe is affected. A hammertoe affects the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toe and causes the joint in the middle of the toe to become bent or curled up. Mallet toe affects the joint at the end of the toe and claw toe involves a combination of all of the joints.
These deformities are most commonly caused by a muscle imbalance that can pull on tendons and cause toes to contract into the characteristic curled position. Heredity plays a role if your parents also lived with this condition, and wearing shoes that squeeze toes into tight positions can be an aggravating factor.
Curled toes usually start out being flexible, but these conditions are degenerative in nature. This means they worsen and your toes could become stiff and rigid over time. If you notice even minor symptoms starting, contact Dr. Danciger and begin preventative treatment. If your toes are already at an advanced, painful stage, we have more aggressive treatment options to bring your feet back to health. Call our office today at (760) 568-0108.