Crooked toes are a common problem that can be inherited or developed over time.
Crooked toes can be classified into many kinds, and the problem can be caused by a number of factors. If you or your child has crooked toes, you may be worried that they may worsen or become uncomfortable if they haven’t already.
Crooked toes might not usually necessitate medical attention. Lifestyle modifications and nonsurgical treatments, as well as surgical options, can frequently be beneficial.
We’ll go over all you need to know and answer the question that why is my second toe crooked? How to straighten crooked toes without surgery in this post.
Table Of Contents
- Why Is My Toe Crooked?
- 6 Types of Crooked Toes Include:
- The Symptoms of Crooked Toe
- Complications of Crooked Toes
- The Treatment of Crooked Toe
- Prevent Crooked Toe
- Will You Need Surgery?
- How to Straighten Crooked Toes Without Surgery?
Why Is My Toe Crooked?
You may have a hammer, mallet, or claw toe if one or more of your toes are crooked or curled under. Because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround your toes aren’t balanced, your foot has an unusual form.
As a result, the toes bend in an unusual posture. It’s possible that your toe is hurting.
Cause of crooked toes include:
Crooked toes can be caused by a variety of factors. It is possible to have several causes.
#1. Shoes that are too little or too big
Wearing footwear that does not fit properly might cause your toes to curl abnormally.
Shoes that are overly tight or too short across the toe box can put a strain on the muscles and tendons that are responsible for keeping the toes straight and aligned. As a result, you may get hammertoe, mallet toe, or adductors toe. These problems can also be caused by certain types of shoes, such as high heels that put pressure on the toes.
Some crooked toe causes, such as curled toes, may be inherited. A curled toe is caused by an overly tight flexor tendon that pushes the toe downward. In some cases, this may be an inherited feature.
Curly toes appear to run in families. If one or both parents have a curly toe, their offspring are more likely than the general population to have it.
#3. Trauma or injury
When a toe is broken and does not mend correctly, it might become crooked. This can also be caused by severely stubbing your toe or any sort of foot damage.
#4. Damage to the nerves
Claw toe can occur as a result of medical disorders that cause nerve injury in the foot (neuropathy). Diabetes and alcoholism are two of these conditions.
#5. Obesity that is severe
Obesity may have a role in the development or exacerbation of crooked toes. People who are very obese may place extra strain on their feet’ bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A study of 2,444 men and women (4,888 feet) discovered that extreme obesity was related to a higher frequency of claw-toe in men.
#6. Damage to the joints
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can cause joint degeneration in the foot in addition to producing mild neuropathy. This can result in claws or hammertoes.
***Read More: How to Get Athletes Foot? Cause and Treatment!
6 Types of Crooked Toes Include:
#1. Claw Toe:
A claw toe is a crooked toe with aberrant flexion at both the first (proximal interphalangeal) and second (distal interphalangeal) toe joints.
Claw toes are prone to digging into the bottoms of shoes, resulting in painful calluses. Without treatment, this crooked toe issue generally worsens and can lead to permanent abnormalities over time.
#2. Adductovarus Toe:
An adductor’s toe is a crooked toe that has migrated beneath another toe. This toe issue is most frequent in the fourth and fifth toes and is caused by wearing shoes with tapering toe boxes.
Many people who wear shoes have this problem to some extent. Unshod people—those who do not wear shoes or conventional footwear—rarely have this toe issue.
A hammertoe is a crooked toe that is flexed abnormally at the first toe joint, also known as the proximal interphalangeal joint.
Hammertoes can arise in any of the toes, and they frequently begin as minor abnormalities that worsen over time.
Hammertoes are often flexible in the early stages, but they can become stiff if not treated appropriately and promptly.
#5. Curly Toe:
A curly toe is a crooked toe in which the most distal portion of the toe—the segment of the toe that is furthest away from the body—is bent and curled to one side of the foot.
Curly toes are more frequent in infants, and most curly toes cure spontaneously before the age of six. Curly toes may create pressure-related problems in people who wear shoes later in life in some situations.
#6. Mallet Toe:
A mallet toe is a crooked toe that is bent to an extraordinary degree solely at the final toe joint (distal interphalangeal joint). The toe is straight the rest of the way.
Mallet toe is frequently produced by shoes with a toe box taper and a raised heel. The pressures exerted on the forefoot by these shoe design features create abnormal cramping and toe bending.
#7. Overlapping Toe:
Overlapping toe is a condition in which one of the toes bends inward and rests on top of another. This form of crooked toe most often affects the second and fifth toes.
If the second toe rubs against the big toe, this might create friction within the shoe, which can lead to ulcers or sores on the second toe.
***Read More: How to Prevent Rolled Ankles – Ankle Sprain Prevention
The Symptoms of Crooked Toe
The indications and symptoms of crooked toe problems differ depending on the type of crooked toe. However, some general warning signals to be on the lookout for are as follows:
– Toes that are bent, elevated, or otherwise malformed
– Tenderness, discomfort, or pain in the vicinity of a toe or toes
– Pain worsens when you wear shoes.
– Skin sensitivity
– Swelling or inflammation
– Blisters, corns, calluses, or other open wounds on the foot or toes
– Reduction in the length of a toe or toes
– Rigidity or stiffness of the toe joints
Complications of Crooked Toes
Crooked toes, if left untreated, can lead to problems that make walking or being mobile difficult or painful. They are as follows:
– Discomfort or irritation, particularly while wearing shoes
– Open wounds
– permanent toe bend
– Calluses and corns
– Toe lengthening
– Joint stiffness and difficulty to flex the toe
***Read More: How Fast do Toddler Feet Grow?
The Treatment of Crooked Toe
Crooked toes can get more painful and inflexible with time, so it’s essential to start crooked toe therapy as soon as possible!
There are several treatment options available to assist you to correct your crooked toe issue, ranging from simple footwear adjustments to surgical treatments.
#1. Fixing crooked toes can be accomplished by purchasing shoes that fit properly.
If your toes are flexible and can return to their normal position, altering your footwear may be sufficient to resolve the issue. Instead of high heels, choose lower, stacked heels or flats, and reserve stiletto heels for special occasions.
Choose shoes that have enough area for your toes to rest flat and fan out. Placing toe cushions or insoles inside your shoes may also help relieve discomfort and assist the toe in resuming its correct alignment.
#2. Make use of your feet.
Foot exercises that stretch the muscles and tendons in the toes may be beneficial.
Try picking up tiny things with your toes or crumpling soft cloth, such as a towel, with them. Working with a physical therapist may be useful as well.
#3. Toe space
Anecdotal evidence suggests that utilizing a toe spacing tool can help with crooked toes. Toe spacing tools can be purchased over the counter. They may be worn with or without shoes while sleeping.
Toe-tapping is not usually advised for infants who were born with congenital crooked toes.
One tiny research, however, found a substantial improvement in 94 percent of babies who received toe taping for underlapping or overlapping toes.
If your toe is flexible, your doctor may advise you to use a splint, toe wrap, or other forms of orthotic devices to maintain it straight.
Surgery may be indicated if your toe has grown stiff and permanently crooked, especially if you are suffering discomfort and movement difficulties.
A tiny portion of the toe joint may be cut or removed, and the toe may be rotated into a straight posture during surgery. Your doctor may also remove damaged or misaligned bone parts.
The procedures used to straighten crooked toes are usually performed on an outpatient basis. During recuperation, your foot may be immobilized in a splint for up to two weeks.
You may also be needed to wear a walking boot for many weeks following the procedure.
***Read More: What Are Socks For? Why Are Socks Important?
Prevent Crooked Toe
Footwear That Is Appropriate
Prevention is always preferable to treatment, and avoiding crooked toe growth or advancement can be as simple as switching to a new pair of shoes and utilizing a decent pair of insoles.
Go barefoot or wear supportive open-toed shoes whenever possible.
How to Choose Shoes for Crooked Toes?
Look for low-heeled shoes.
High heels place additional strain on the muscles and joints of the foot and toes, and they are infamous for causing back pain.
Make sure you have enough toe room.
Shoes with a large toe box or open-toed shoes provide the toes some wriggle room. Shoes with pointy toes should be avoided.
Material things are important.
Foot problems can be avoided by using flexible material around the toes and on the soles.
Select laces and straps.
Because of these characteristics, the shoe width may be changed, providing for additional toe area if needed.
Sizes should be checked.
Our foot size, particularly in breadth, varies as we age. It’s fairly unusual for our feet to be two sizes apart.
Have both of your feet measured on a regular basis, and pick shoes depending on the larger foot’s size. Make sure there’s a half-inch gap between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe.
Shop late at night.
Always try on shoes at the end of the day because our feet swell after a long day of exercise.
Will You Need Surgery?
The treatment for a crooked toe will be determined by how severe and long-lasting the issue has been. If your toes are still flexible, a change in lifestyle may be enough to fix the problem.
If stiffness has already developed, more extensive medical treatment may be necessary. Crooked toes may frequently be rectified via lifestyle changes such as wearing well-fitting shoes and avoiding high heels.
Wearing a splint or toe spacer at home may also be beneficial. Surgery may be considered if the crooked toe has become set and stiff, or if it does not respond to at-home therapy.
How to Straighten Crooked Toes Without Surgery?
Normal Toe is a strong tool that may be worn inside men’s and women’s foot-healthy shoes, over-toe socks, or on bare feet to help realign the toes in their correct anatomical position, strengthen the muscles and tendons that link to the toes, and enhance forefoot stability.
Getting the toes to stretch out again—to the position that nature intended—is critical in dealing with and avoiding all forms of crooked toes.
Another important factor in straightening up the toes is to adopt and use foot-healthy footwear that allows the foot to behave like a barefoot within the shoe.
Conventional shoes, including most running shoes, will hasten the progression of a crooked toe because the design elements included in most conventional models create an imbalance in the foot flexor and extensor muscles and tendons, as well as an imbalance in the four layers of muscles (aka intrinsic muscles) within the foot.
Intrinsic foot muscles serve to support the toes during walking and standing.
Check out our selection of foot-friendly footwear for men and women. To provide the greatest possible toe splay, all models are Correct Toes compatible.
A metatarsal pad is another useful tool for straightening crooked, curved, or bowed toes. This soft and inconspicuous cushion rests immediately beneath the ball of the foot and aids in the return of the toes to the ground.
Metatarsal pads, when used in conjunction with toe socks, toe spacers, and foot-healthy footwear, can improve toe alignment.
Metatarsal pads are classified into two types: stationary (i.e., fixed in the shoe) and movable (i.e., can be worn on the foot in almost any pair of shoes).
Other natural remedies for twisted toes include:
– Physical treatment – Manipulation of the toe joints
– Soft tissue mobilization with an instrument (e.g., Graston, gua sha, etc.)
– Some stretches or exercises (e.g., Toe Extensor Stretch, Hammertoe Stretch, etc.)
Individuals suffering from any of the crooked toe syndromes listed above should contact a naturally-minded podiatrist or other suitable foot care specialist, or schedule a remote consultation with the foot care professionals.
A doctor might recommend additional techniques to help straighten or slow the growth of crooked toes.
The longer the crooked toe condition persists, the more likely it may become permanently stiff, necessitating more extensive—and invasive—treatment, such as surgery.
Hopefully, the information we provide above can help you understand why is my second toe crooked and how to prevent and treat them effectively without surgical intervention.