Symptoms of Hammertoe

Hammertoe is when one or more toes next to the big toe are bent in a fixed position, and callus forms on the toe joint’s upper side. It is a joint in the toe that is bent and pulls in towards the foot. The appearance resembles a hammer hence the name of the symptom. Depending on which joint is curved, it is called a hammertoe or claw toe. Hammertoe is when the joint between the first and second joint is bent, while the claw toe is when the joint between the third and fourth joint is bent (further out towards the tip of the toe).

Hammertoe is common in connection with Hallux Valgus. Hallux Valgus is when the big toe is tilted outwards.

Symptoms of a hammertoe are one or more downward bent toes. The bent toe can cause pain when using shoes, and a callus may form on the top of the bent toe. As the hammertoe rubs against the shoe, it can lead to wounds on the top of the toe. It is also common to feel pain under the forefoot in connection with the hammertoe because the pressure is not distributed over a larger area under the foot as it usually would.


The treatment involves releasing the joint so that the big toe can bend. The reason is that the toe has become overstressed by taking too much load when walking. All the toes have to receive pressure when walking. Usually, the big toe does not work correctly (it is the most robust toe). It does not take the load underneath, and the smaller toes become overloaded. It has a condition called Functional Hallux Limitus. The function of the big toe must be restored, and the muscles of the affected toes must be released to regain their strength. Then the hammertoe can start to relax and regain its mobility.

Treatment step by step

  • First, we go through the cause of the problem, and we look at the posture of the foot.
  • Then strength and mobility tests are performed on the feet.
  • Then we have a basis on how we should treat the feet.
  • The treatment is done with a device called StretchPower. With the help of a bar, we expose the lower leg to pressure so that the ankle is bent, mobility increases, and the error is corrected. Before the treatment begins, we put the foot in the correct position in StretchPower to get the desired effect on the treatment.
  • The patient himself receives exercises that they can do at home to correct the hammertoe’s position.

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