Question:

Can physical therapy help hammertoes and bunion by addressing tight tendons and posture issues?


Answer:

Thank you for your question and for reaching out. While hammertoes and bunions are conditions we encounter often in Physical Therapy, every patient presents differently as there are a variety of contributing factors to the development of each. Because of this, without doing a thorough examination we’re not able to comment at length on a specific case of hammertoes or a bunion, but we can give you some general information regarding potential contributing factors and treatment options.

There are several different toe conditions such as hammer toe, mallet toe, claw toe, and bunion formation, that can occur due to muscle imbalances, and for most of these conditions stretching of tight muscles and tendons is often a part of the rehabilitation process. Patients with toe conditions commonly have tight calf muscles and accordingly a calf stretch, performed for 30 to 60 seconds several times a day, is often a part of the stretching regimen.
There are various internal factors that can contribute to the development of toe conditions, including the strength and function of the knee, the hip, and the lower back and pelvis.

There are also external factors that can contribute, the most common being poor fitting shoes that are too narrow in the front of the shoe or are too short, which can cause compression of the toes. A Physical Therapist can help identify and develop a comprehensive plan to determine what contributing factors are leading a toe condition and what treatments would be most helpful to facilitate recovery. This typically includes a targeted Home Exercise Plan, manual therapy, education, footwear assessment, stretching, strengthening, and assessment of the function of surrounding joints and muscles. We recommend you consult with a Physical Therapist to schedule a comprehensive assessment.


**This reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.