woman massaging her bare feet after a long day of wearing narrow shoes

A hammertoe is a deformity of the second through fifth toes, in which the toe is bent downward at the joint closest to the end of the toe. This deformity can be hereditary or can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. Hammertoes are classified as either “flexible” or “rigid.” Flexible hammertoes are less serious because they are still in the developmental phase. The symptoms of flexible hammertoes can often be treated with simple fixes at home. However, rigid hammertoes require surgery to correct. A flexible hammertoe will usually become rigid over time, and it is best if treated prior to reaching this state.  

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