इंडियन आवाज़     16 Feb 2019 12:17:03      انڈین آواز

High Heels and tight shoes can lead to Claw Toes

By Vinod Kumar

Tight and high heel shoes can weaken the muscles in the foot and lead to the imbalance that causes problems like Claw Toes, a common deformity of the forefoot that can leave toes curled down at the end joint making them resemble little claws.

In India, up to 20 per cent people are affected by claw toes. According to different studies, women in India are affected four to five times more than men. Prevalence of claw toes deformity gradually increases with advancing age and it is observed most often in patients in their seventh or eighth decade of life.

The general cause of this toe condition is a muscle imbalance that leaves muscles and tendons abnormally tight, which pulls the toe and causes these to curl. Ill-fitting shoes are the most frequent cause for the development of this problem. Although certain foot deformities, diabetes, and arthritis are also responsible in some cases. Shoes with high heels force all of the body’s weight onto the balls of the feet and toes and tight, pointed toe boxes that squeeze toes are just not great for the feet. These types of shoes can weaken the muscles in the foot and lead to the imbalance that causes a problem like claw toe. This condition gets worse over time and could become a permanent deformity.

According to Dr. Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, ‘many foot-related problems can be avoided with shoes that are appropriate for an individual’s feet, body, and lifestyle. Over time, wearing high heels with a narrow toe box can cause the foot to take the shape of the shoe, causing claw and hammer toes, bunions, corns, and in some cases even knee and back pain. High-heeled shoes are responsible for putting significant pressure on the fat pad under the ball of the foot, forefoot. Hence, the higher the heel, the more pressure it creates on the ball of the foot and a higher likelihood for the injury. The ideal shoe should have a wide toe box and two-inch or lower heel. A platform under the toe box should be preferred if higher heels are the choice as it would decrease the overall stress on the foot.’

Claw toes are not only unsightly, but they can also cause significant discomfort and difficulty wearing shoes. They often start flexible but ultimately progress to rigid deformity, with minimal movement.

“Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is another leading cause for claw toes, especially in women. Many people with RA develop bunions, callus or claw toes. The sheer number of problems from the ankle to the toes causes pain throughout the foot. Over time, a person with RA may be inclined to avoid standing or walking” said Dr. Raju Vaishya, who is President of Indian Cartilage Society & Arthritis Care Foundation.

Claw toes can appear from birth, or the feet can become bent later on. It can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as cerebral palsy or diabetes. Some contracted toes are due to muscle weakness, arthritis or congenital problems but most are due to tight shoes.

Unrelieved pressure on the toes can cause complications. With time, a flexible toe deformity becomes a stiff claw toe, which is more challenging to treat. The second toe may cross over the first, and eventually, dislocation may occur at the base of the second toe. Corns may eventually lose their ability to protect the toe and breakdown, forming skin ulcers. It may lead to infection.

According to Dr. Raju Vaishya, a combination of medical intervention, physiotherapy, and home care can be recommended to treat claw toes, depending upon the severity and rigidity of the deformity. Specially designed shoes can also ease off the pressure while avoiding others as tight shoes or high heels will only make the toes more rigid. Wearing shoes with plenty of room can help alleviate discomfort. The design will be in such a manner that the toe can be accommodated in the extra depth area, and a special pad to help ease off the pressure from the ball of the foot. Surgery is opted only in rare cases when this deformity is unnoticed and in extreme condition with rigid toes. The bone at the base of the toe is shortened so that more room is available to straighten out. After surgery, the toes may take up to six to eight months to heal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Sachin Tendulkar leads Indian sports fraternity to pay emotional homage to CRPF martyrs

Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and champion boxer Vijender Singh led the sports fra ...

PV Sindhu, Vaishnavi Bhale, Ashmita Chaliha enter semi finals of women’s singles in NBC

  In the Senior National Badminton Championship at Guwahati, Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu sailed i ...

National Badminton C’ships: Lakshya Sen, Harsheel Dani enter 4th round

Young Indian shuttlers Lakshya Sen and Harsheel Dani entered the fourth round of the men's singles competition ...



President Kovind confers PM Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019

    AMN / NEW DELHI President Ram Nath Kovind today conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya ...

Major buildings in India go blue as part of UNICEF’s campaign on World Children’s Day

Our Correspondent / New Delhi Several monuments across India turned blue today Nov 20 – the World Children ...


Indian short film wins award at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival

  By Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi “Binnu Ka Sapna”, a short film by Kanu Behl of “Titli” fame, ...

Google dedicates doodle to Madhubala on her 86th birth anniversary

Google dedicates doodle to Madhubala on her 86th birth anniversary   One of India's most beautifu ...


@Powered By: Logicsart