- Claw Toes





Claw Toes

Claw toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to tighten and bend the toes. This results in the joints curling downwards. Arthritis and nerve damage from diabetes can weaken the muscles in your feet and lead to claw toes. Claw toe get worse without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.
Claw toes are classified as flexible or rigid. In a flexible claw toe, the joint can be manually straightened. A rigid claw toe cannot be straightened out manually. Movement is very limited and can be extremely painful. This sometimes causes foot movement to become restricted leading to extra stress at the ball-of-the-foot, and possibly causing pain and the development of corns and calluses.

Symptoms

A claw toe is a toe that is bent at the PIP and DIP joints (middle and end joints in the toe), and can lead to severe pressure and pain. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe\'s joints to curl downwards. Claw toes may occur in any toe, except the big toe. There is often discomfort on the top of the toe from rubbing against the shoe and at the end of the toe that is pressed against the bottom of the shoe.

How a 3-Point Splint Can Help

The first step in helping to correct flexible claw toes is to change the type of footwear worn. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe box (front part of the shoe) is high and broad, and can accommodate the claw toes. A shoe with a high, broad toe box will provide enough room in the forefoot area so that there is less friction against the toes.
Other conservative treatments include using products designed to relieve claw toes, such as 3pp Toe Loops. These soft, cushioned straps allow you to hold the toe(s) straight and they cushion the top of the toes to lessen the formation of calluses. 3pp Toe Loops can be worn on any toe.
Manual stretching of the toes and exercises to improve mobility are also important while claw toes are still flexible. Practice picking up marbles or crumble a towel or piece of paper on the floor. Claw toes rarely go away so it is important to continue exercising, stretching and wearing 3pp Toe Loops to keep the toes straight and cushioned.