One of a handful of deformities that can happen to your toes is the curling up of your smaller toes. In this condition, called claw toes, there is an unusual upwards bend at the joint closest to your foot (the metatarsophalangeal joint). Additionally, there is an abnormal downwards bend in the next two joints. This leads to a claw-like appearance, thus the name of the deformity.
When claw toes first appear, the joints typically remain flexible. If you’re at this stage of the condition, your goal should be to keep them that way!
You might think that exercises mainly work your arms or legs, but if you have claw toes, they could benefit from some simple ones, too. Claw toes, unfortunately, are progressive and the joints generally become rigid and more painful in time—but exercising them regularly can help keep the supporting muscles and tendons limber, flexible, and pain free for as long as possible.
Here are some easy exercises that can help:
- Pick up tissues with your toes. Place 20 clean tissues on the floor and put them into a waste basket, one at a time, with your right foot. Then repeat with your left foot.
- Crumple a towel. Lay a towel flat on the floor in front of a chair and sit down. Place your heels at the edge of the towel closest to you and use your toes to pull the towel back until all of it is under your feet. Smooth it back out and repeat twice more.
- Use fingers to stretch toes. Gently pull your toes back, one at a time, and hold the position for ten seconds. Then repeat the sequence by pushing them down.
Exercises might be beneficial, but it is also possible that you need professional treatment for this condition. If the deformity has become rigid, for example, make your appointment with our office so we can provide the care you need to prevent pain and complications.
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Austin, TX 78746
P. 512-328-8900 F. 512-328-8903