Hammer Toe Exercises That You Can Easily Do At Home
If you have been diagnosed with a hammer toe, it is important that you perform exercises that will help you to repair and restore the feeling, shape and functionality of the toes. These exercises can be done in the comfort of your home and only takes a few minutes each day.
Toe crunch is one of the most important hammer toe exercises. It involves using the middle joint of the toe to pull the tip of the toe to the base. Make sure that you sit in a nice, comfortable chair. Then put a towel just underneath the upper half of your affected foot. Keep your heel firmly planted on the ground and use your toes for crunching the towel up. After you have reached the end of the towel, perform the exercise again. Repeat the exercise about 10-12 times. If you want to add some resistance, you can place an item on the end of the towel.
Manual Hammer Toe Stretching:
You can also use your towel to stretch your toes. Sit on the ground with your legs perfectly outstretched and a towel wrapped properly around your toes. Make sure that you hold the towel ends with your hands and pull the toes towards you. Keep yourself in this position for 20-30 seconds. You can also forgo the towel if you like and try pulling your toes by using your hands.
This hammer toe exercise helps to stretch the joint. As you sit in a comfortable chair, gently extend the big toe towards floor as you try to point the other toes up. Now hold onto that position for about a second and then tap them lightly back down to floor. Repeat this about 10-12 times and then reverse this process by gently pulling the big toe up as you keep the other toes on the floor.
Hammer Toe Finger Splint:
The Hammer Toe Finger Splint is also referred to as “squeeze” and involves using the fingers for creating little splits between the toes for stretching them. Sit in a comfortable position and then bring one foot up and then place it right on your opposite thigh. Then slide your fingers gently in between the toes, gently pinching your fingers for squeezing your toes together. Repeat the exercise 12 times. If you like you can perform each toe simultaneously by putting one finger between them and pinching.
This particular hammer toe exercise involves tapping the toes gently on the ground from one side to the other. First stand barefoot on some flat surface and try lifting all the toes off the ground, while making sure that you keep the heel planted. Now bring the toes gently down on the surface one by one, starting with the small and then ending with the big. Repeat the exercise 10 times and then move into the opposite direction.
Unless the hammertoe has progressed to a stage that requires toe surgery, simple conservative measures are recommended in the first instance. These might include:
- Anti-inflammatory Medicines: To relieve pain and decrease inflammation
- Injections: A cortisone injection can further help relieve pain and inflammation in more severe cases
- Physical Therapy: Physiotherapy can be useful to stretch tight muscles and tendons that are causing the hammertoe. Often you will be recommended exercises like the above.
- Bespoke Orthotics: A biomechanical specialist can design and manufacture a custom insole to resolve discomfort and prevent progression of the deformity
- Toe Splints or Pads: Splints and pads can be helpful to realign the affected toe and prevent discomfort when walking in footwear
If you have severe or painful hammertoes, it is a good idea to seek specialist advice.
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