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Claw toes are sometimes also known as claw foot. In this condition, the toes are bent into the shape of a claw, with the top half of the toes bent down, and the bottom half of the toes curled up. Claw toes can be present from birth, or they can develop later on in life. Claw foot can be quite painful.
However, it is typically not life-threatening, unless it is related to a serious medical condition such as stroke or diabetes. If you suspect that you may have claw foot, you should see a podiatrist in order to make measures to prevent the conditioning from worsening.
As the name indicated, claw toes bend the toes into a shape that looks like a claw. The top part of the toes bend down, while the bottom part of the toes bends upward. The tips of the toes might also curl under. Sometimes, there may not be pain associated with claw toes. However, in many cases, the toes are quite painful. Corns and calluses can also develop where the toes rub against the shoes.
Claw toes are commonly mistaken for hammer toes. Although the two conditions may appear similar, they are caused by different underlying problems with the foot muscles.
Claw toes can occur as the result of several other related conditions. In some cases, claw toes develop following an injury or sprain to the ankle or after an ankle surgery. Claw toes can also develop as the result of inflammation in the toes, which causes the toes to bend into a claw position.
Nerve damage in the feet can also cause claw toes; the nerve damage weakens the foot muscles, creating an imbalance in the foot that causes the toes to bend into a claw shape. Sometimes, the root cause of claw toes is never identified. Other possible causes for claw toes include the following:
Stroke is a condition in which there is a blood clot or area of weak blood vessels in part of the brain which causes a lack of blood flow to that area of the brain. Nerve damage and muscle damage can occur as the result of a stroke.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin, causing high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, particularly in the feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the lining of the joints becomes inflamed, which can result in the joints becoming deformed.
If you have claw toes, it is important to make your feet comfortable and retain whatever flexibility may be left in the toes. You should always wear roomy, comfortable shoes with plenty of space in the toe box.
In particular, shoes that have a deeper toe box, or made with stretch materials in the toe box area, will be more comfortable and less likely to rub against your toes or cause corns or calluses. Avoid high heels or any shoes that have a narrow toe box. You can also wear shoe pads or insoles that help to remove pressure from the toes and realign the foot.
If you have claw toes, visit Foot Solutions UK. We can help you to find the right pair of shoes that will provide the support that you need while also giving you the comfortable fit that you need. We can provide you with shoe inserts or even order custom arch supports to meet your individual needs. Visit Foot Solutions UK today to learn more.