The underlying source of hammertoes is a problem with the tendons that bend and straighten your digit. When they become unbalanced, the middle joint of the toe can bend and get stuck in a “hammer” position. Many different issues can encourage the connector imbalance that causes this deformity. It could be as simple as wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly. Footwear that puts too much pressure on the ball of the foot or that squeezes your toes can imbalance the tendons.
An injury to a toe could also be a cause. Anything that puts abnormal pressure on the toes and balls of your feet can be behind the problem as well, even preexisting conditions like bunions. Abnormally high arches increase your risk. Nerve problems that affect muscles or connective tissues can tighten those structures, bending the toe. Preexisting arthritis could be a culprit, too. If you’re concerned you’re developing a hammertoe, contact Carolina Podiatry Group in South Carolina for more information or to make an appointment to get it checked. You can reach us online or call one of our locations: (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster, or (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill.