Most often, wearing shoes that do not fit an individual well for too often can actually bring about the condition. Wearing shoes that are too narrow or too tight for the owner for long periods of time can eventually take its toll on the wearer’s feet. This is the same for women who favour wearing high-heeled shoes with narrow toe boxes. The deformity comes as a result of the shortening of muscles inside the toes because the toes become accustomed to bent positions, thus prompting the muscles to fail to extend any further and become curbed and tightened. Once the cause of the hammertoe is successfully treated, it usually goes away without complications. However, waiting too long to seek treatment can cause your surrounding toes to become deformed as the hammertoe forces them out of position. In mallet toe, the joint at the end of the toe, known anatomically as the DIP joint, is the one that buckles.Unlike in hammer toe, which is The skin near the toenail develops a corn that is painful and may ulcerate. The other joint remains relatively normal. Popular shoe styles, such as are found in women's dress shoes, are generally narrow. There is constant pressure on the joints of the big toes. To stretch and increase strength in your mallet toe, place a towel under your feet and use your toes to crumple it. You can also increase flexibility through using your toes to pick up objects such as coins and marbles. References Because approximately 25% of the bones in the body are located in the human foot, it is very important for a person to have good fitting shoes. If any of the bones in the feet are misaligned, the entire body could be compromised. Common Foot Conditions Most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other, fit the shoe to the bigger foot for best fit. For the majority of children under the age of 8, this condition will correct itself on its own, without the use of braces, casts, surgery, or other special treatment. Children who are suffering from pain from their intoeing, or there are signs of swelling or a limp should be seen by a podiatrist. A corn (heloma) is a circumscribed hyperkeratotic lesion with a central conical core of keratin that causes pain and inflammation. The conical core in a corn is a thickening of the stratum corneum. Increased activity of keratinocytes in superficial layer of skin leading to hyperkeratosis. This is a normal response to excess friction, pressure, or stress. Women get crooked toes more often than men, due to wearing high heels and other shoes that cause the toes to stay in a bent position for long periods of time. As the toes are continuously forced into a bent position, the 2 muscles controlling the toes (allowing them to bend and straighten) become affected as well, and the tendons shorten. As a result, toes can become increasingly bent and less flexible, not being able to flex naturally without shoes on. Hammertoe is also caused by heredity when it is passed on to generation by birth. In the long run, it may affect the nervous system. Achilles tendonitis is a condition wherein Achilles tendon inflammation is experienced. If this inflammatory condition persists for long then it may also cause the tendons to become thickened. In some cases bumps or nodules may also develop within the tendons. Achilles tendonitis may also turn into a long term issue or it may also lead to damages to the tendons. Mallet toe is flexion deformity at DIP jt with normal alignment at the PIP and MTP. This is usually caused by jamming injury or tight shoes. Symptoms include pain and callous at the tip of the toe. Treatment includes shoes with high toe boxes and trimming of callous. Hammertoes develop mainly due to genetic variations of one's foot structure. This condition is seen with those who have flat feet, and those who have high arches. The most common cause of hammertoes has much to do with imbalance of muscles flexing and extending the toes, with the muscles flexing the toes ultimately winning. This is seen in flat and flattening feet. High arches create hammertoes slightly differently, with the extending muscles dominating the process. Other causes of hammertoes could include muscle or tendon injury, as well as neuromuscular disease like cerebral palsy. There are several other toe contractions that resemble hammertoes, but are slightly different. The bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons of your feet normally are well-balanced to distribute your body's weight while standing, walking and running. When the first and second joints of your toes experience the prolonged stress that develops when the muscles that control them fail to work together properly, the pressure on the tendons that support them can lead to the curling or contraction known as hammertoe. Since the arched bending of hammertoe often causes the toe to rub against the top of the shoe's toe box and against the sole, painful corns and calluses develop on the toes.