Clawfoot Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment Advice

Clawfoot Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment Advice

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 12/7/2022

What Exactly Is A Claw Foot?

Clawfoot is sometimes referred to as hammertoe or claw toe in some circles. It is characterized by the appearance of claw-like toes on the affected individual. Claw feet can either be present from birth or develop at a later point in a person's life.

The following is the information you need to know about how it may influence your health.

What Can Cause Claw Foot?

Several different forms of claw foot are associated with injury to your feet. Injuries to the nerves or muscles in your feet might cause your toes to curl, which can help you maintain your balance and compensate for the loss of function. This curl may eventually take on a more permanent form.

Claw toes can also be caused by the following, among other things:

Surgical Procedures And Injuries

Surgical Procedures And Injuries

Any foot or ankle surgery can potentially harm that region's nerves. Damage to the muscles and nerves can also be caused by traumatic injuries to the lower extremities, namely the legs, feet, and ankles.


Damage to the nerves in your foot might occur when blood sugar levels are not adequately managed. Numbness in the feet and curled toes are both symptoms that can occur in people whose diabetes is not under control. Having high amounts of insulin might cause harm to their limbs.

Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an autoimmune illness in which your body attacks itself, causing inflammation and joint pain. Over time, it might make your muscles less strong and distort the joints in your toes.

Cerebral Palsy.

Muscle tone becomes erratic as a result of this disease. Those who have cerebral palsy have either overly flexible or too rigid muscles. It can create a claw foot because the muscles in your toes become rigid to compensate for the slack muscles in your foot.


Strokes can make it more difficult for patients to maintain control of their muscles throughout their bodies. It refers to your feet and legs, and you might find that curling your toes helps keep your balance.

The Illness Is Known As Charcot-Marie-Tooth

The Illness Is Known As Charcot-Marie-Tooth.

This hereditary condition affects your neurological system, making it more challenging to maintain control of your legs and feet. Leg weakness and foot abnormalities like claw toes are among the earliest indications that a person may have Charcot-Marie-Tooth illness.

The Influence That Claw Foot Has On Your Health

Most instances with claw feet do not provide severe health risks. Walking might become difficult or even painful when your toes are curled into a claw form. You could also have difficulty selecting shoes that are the right size.

It is essential to begin treatment for claw feet as soon as possible. If you catch the condition early enough while your toes are still flexible, you may be able to stop it from growing worse. If they are not treated, they may develop rigidly and be "trapped" in a specific shape for the rest of their lives.

Talk to your primary care physician about possible therapies that might help you preserve the flexibility in your toes and treat the underlying reasons for your claw foot.

Clawfoot And Its Treatment

Clawfoot And Its Treatment

If you see that you are growing claw toes, your physician may advise you to undergo one of the numerous therapies. These treatments are intended to keep your foot flexible, assisting you in walking and moving about more easily.

Some standard therapies are as follows:

Toe tape 

If your toes have already started to curl, don't worry since this will keep them from doing so. Taping your toes keeps them in the correct posture and can help you reverse slight curling of the toes if done correctly.

Putting On A Splint For Support

Putting On A Splint For Support.

 If your toes are curled, but you still have some flexibility in them, a sling may be able to assist you in keeping them straight. Splints provide more stability than tape does, and as a result, they are more successful in reversing severe cases of claw toes.

Should treat The underlying conditions. Your physician will provide treatment recommendations if you suffer from a condition such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It may help avoid a worsening of the condition known as claw feet.


If you have a severe claw foot, you may require surgery to either have your toe tendons lengthened or your toe bones shortened. This will allow your toes to return to their natural position.

Eliminating The Risk Of Claw Foot

Eliminating The Risk Of Claw Foot

It is simpler for many individuals to avoid claw feet in the first place than to treat them after it has developed. If you are concerned about developing claw toes, the following are numerous items that can safeguard your feet.

Manage Diabetes

If you have diabetes, maintaining tight control over your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Keeping good management of your diabetes will help you prevent experiencing nerve damage in your feet. Because of this, your toenails won't be able to curl.

Put On Some Comfy Shoes 

If you have a claw foot, you should avoid wearing shoes with high heels or overly tight shoes. Put on shoes with a sufficiently large toe box, and steer clear of footwear that places excessive stress on the ball of your foot.

Make Use Of Orthotics For Claw Feet

Make Use Of Orthotics For Claw Feet

Your physician may suggest you put gel pads or some other kind of orthotic in your shoes. These inserts relieve the pressure that would exert otherwise on the ball of your foot and the toes of your foot. This allows your feet to relax, which can help prevent claw toes from forming or worsening if they already exist.

Move Around And Stretch Your Toes

Maintaining the flexibility of your toes and tendons may be accomplished by doing exercises that build strength in the toes and stretch the tendons. Clawfoot and nerve damage are both conditions that can help in some instances by gently extending out your toes in a straight line and picking up items with your toes.