11 Oct Can You Fix Your Crowded Toes?
Fixing Crowded Toes?
Overlapping and underlapping toes are common. They have many causes and may result from genetic foot conditions. Together, these overlapping and underlapping toes are known as “crowded toes” or “toe crowding.” While crowded toes are not a foot emergency, they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. Here are some treatment options to help get your toes in line.
Wear Corrective Shoes and Custom Orthotics
Simply wearing the right shoes can help correct your toe problems. You don’t need to buy orthotic shoes, but you should choose comfortable, supportive shoes with wide-toe boxes.
If your toe crowding is severe or painful, ask your podiatrist about custom orthotics. These orthotics will help correct foot gait problems and other conditions, including bunions, flat feet, and high arches. These often result from overpronation, which is when your foot rolls inward while you’re walking. Corrective shoes and orthotics can correct overpronation.
Use Spacers and Separators
Toe spacers, also known as toe separators or toe spreaders, are designed to naturally realign your toes. Spacers take toes that have been crushed and crowded in shoes and allow them to expand naturally. “Toe splay” refers to your toes’ ability to comfortably and naturally spread out.
These separators won’t fix your overlapping toes at once, but they supply gentle stretching that can help strengthen your toes. Toe spacers have been proven effective in treating chronic foot conditions like bunions, Morton’s neuroma, and hammertoes. The spacers supply toe splay while you wear them. You can use them any time you take your shoes off.
Avoid High Heels
High heels contribute to toe crowding. They force your toes into a narrow space and exert constant pressure on your toe area. If your toes are crowded, stop wearing high heels. Try some simple treatment options, and give your toes time to heal and straighten. When you decide to wear heels again, talk to your podiatrist about custom orthotics to make your shoes more supportive and comfortable.
Treating Toe Crowding in Children
Many newborns have crowded toes. Fortunately, you can correct the problem using simple, noninvasive methods. It’s best to start early.
• Taping: Taping is 94% effective in treating toe crowding in babies. You can get straight toes after just six months of taping.
• Toe spacers: They work for adults and newborns. Use spacers specifically designed for newborns.
• Stretching: Stretching exercises can help realign babies’ toes, especially when used with taping or spacers.
Will You Need Surgery?
Surgery is rarely needed for overlapping or underlapping toes. Your podiatrist may recommend it in severe cases. Your recovery time from this surgery will be about two months.
Get Tip-Top Toes
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we treat crowded toes and other foot conditions. Talk to us about 3D imaging, which provides a perfect fit for our custom orthotics. We can help your toes stay in tip-top shape.