Claw toe is a condition where your toes curl into a claw-like position. It can occur from birth or a result of nerve damage caused by injuries, wearing tight shoes, exercising, playing sports, or an underlying illness such as diabetes.
Having claw toes will only let you have problems later if left without treatment. While the condition is not serious in itself, it’s vital to call a doctor for diagnosis and treatment for any hidden diseases like cerebral palsy and diabetes as stated above.

Symptoms and signs of claw foot

In some cases, claw foot will not cause you any pain. However, excessive bending of the toes might hurt a little and will cause calluses or corns for that matter.
Here are the common symptoms of claw foot:
• Your toes will bend upward starting from the joints at the ball of the foot
• Your toes will curl downward starting from the middle joints and directly digs the sole of your shoe
• Toes may curl under the foot
• Corns and calluses
• Toe digs down into the sole of your shoe
Claw toes are often mistaken as hammertoe or mallet toe, but they’re not the same. Hammertoes and mallet toes, while may result likewise to curling, are caused by different muscles on your foot.

Common causes of claw toe

Claw toes are caused by a variety of conditions that have weakened the nerves of your foot muscles. Claw foot can develop as a result of several different conditions. Common causes are:
• Ankle and foot injuries
• Wearing tight shoes or high heels often
• Inflammation
• Poor posture from exercise
• Genes
• Trauma from injury
Meanwhile, underlying diseases that may cause claw toes are:
Diabetes. Diabetes can damage nerve cells, especially with your legs starting from your toes. In severe cases, an amputation will be needed.
Arthritis. This disorder causes an attack on tissues in your joints, resulting in inflammation which leads to deformities like claw toes.
Stroke. When blood stops flowing inside your brain, it can cause serious damage to the body. It affects your muscles, joints, and tissues including the ones in your feet. Claw toes during a stroke can affect your lower limbs and balance.
Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy results in stiff or loose muscles caused by abnormal brain development.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. This is a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system resulting in feet and toe deformities.

Treatment of claw toes

Claw toe may not be seen as a serious condition, but if there are chances of an underlying disease, it’s best to seek medical help. You’ll be undergoing neurological and ortho tests to determine the reason for the weakening of your foot muscles.
In severe cases, doctors might recommend surgery if the toes become too rigid to stretch and correct. They’ll also suggest you wear toe separators and undergo physical therapy for exercise that can prevent the condition to worsen.

Prevention of claw toes

While it’s hard to prevent some illnesses to occur, you can always lessen the dull and pain brought by claw toes. Here are some home care tips:
• Wear soft shoes that have enough room for your toes to breathe
• Avoid wearing tight shoes and high-heels too often
• Regularly stretch your toes if it’s too dull and numb
• Use insole cushions or pads that can help distribute weight and relieve pressure from your foot

After the treatment of your toes, the problem usually goes away. However, when the issue persisted, it’s best to seek your doctor’s help.


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