Hummer toes are the toes that are bent underneath. Therefore these toes are not taking part in the process of walking. The pushing phase of walking process is absent for them, thus the strongest groups of venous-muscular pumps are idling. Notice that exactly these groups are physiologically destined to elevate the blood up to the heart.
There are several reasons for forming hummer toes.
First reason is the footwear that is not properly fitted for the particular feet. It is worth mentioning that while the person is walking in proper way with parallel feet position, the phase of push with toes is necessary part of the gait process, and those toes are normally lengthening under the load of push for up to 1 cm. Usually women have the habit to buy footwear right according to the feet size and even one size smaller. In this case the toes are constantly pushing and poking the toe-cap of footwear and naturally they use to deform and eventually to bend, acquiring hammer-like shape. First to deform are the longest toes. Therefore, when choosing the length and the shape of footwear toe-cap, it is necessary to consider the personal particularities of toes position. Toes might be all of same length and located perpendicular to the foot, or location is slanted under the definite angle, but in any case big toe (1st toe) leans in front of all of them. Quite often the 2nd toe is a little longer than 1-st toe (notice the photo).
Second reason for forming hummer toe is connected with deformation of transversal arch. When metatarsal joint of 1st toe is moving outside, then this toe muscle began to pull it more and more in the direction of 2nd toe, squeezing 2nd toe up. Using soft pads between the toes, you just enforce effect on the 2nd toe and accelerate the process of its deviation.
Third reason lies in the fact that muscles are in reflex connection with Central Nervous System. Reflexology is viewing influence on the toes metatarsals as harmonization of the human brain. We have to keep in mind constantly that all processes in human organism are of reflex nature, i.e. there is inverse connection underlying the self-regulation of organism. Patients who survived stroke, often demonstrate the hammer shape of the toes. The natural question follows: what is primal – toes deformations or stroke? I believe that both options are possible, therefore to restore the toes functionality is the pivotal task from both orthopaedics and physiological point of view.
All other reasons that medicine try to employ, such as hereditary factors, arthroses, joints arthritis constitute nothing short of violation of common sense and scientific approach, as well as bad practice with respect to population. And unnecessary operations that leave patients in different phases of impairment and disability, are increasingly popular and still would be. To stop and reverse this practice, it is critical to fully and consciously understand that deformation is the result of load application and this load must be compensated by the muscles in order to prevent ligaments from stretching. Besides it is very important not to forget that it is muscles that define position of the skeleton and its bones.
To eliminate the toes hammer shape, several relaxation massages is procedure enough. And special orthotics footwear is not necessary. Just footwear that is properly manufactured and properly chosen by the patient. Unfortunately, nowadays such footwear is not easy to find in the stores, and it is difficult to get qualified recommendations from the doctor.
Good results could be also achieved while using special half-orthotics and orthotics that correct the transversal arch of the foot. These custom-made inserts are manufactured in our Centre, and might be used both in casual footwear and in fashion footwear.