How to Tape a Hammer Toe

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A ‘hammer toe’ is a toe that is hooked due to a bend in the second joint of the toe. This problem can be caused by many things such as wearing shoes that are too small, or inherited genetically. If you suffer from a hammer toe, then you may want to tape it in order to force it to straighten out temporarily which will help you to fit into shoes that would otherwise have fitted. For more permanent methods of fixing the problem you should look into surgery, but for the most part most people will be happy to simply address the problem and the discomfort when it becomes an issue. Here we will look at how to apply tape in order to fix the problem without causing further discomfort or damage.

Acquire the tape: First of all you will need to get hold of the tape. This tape is called ‘kinesio tape’ and can be purchased from most pharmacies.

Cut the tape: Next you should look at your hammer toe and cut the kinesio tape accordingly. Cut it so that it is a strip around six inches long and just wide enough to cover the length of the hammer toe. In other words you want to hold the whole toe next to the other toe, rather than simply pulling it inwards at one point which would cause it to bend further.

Wrap the tape: Now you have your tape and it is the correct size and shape you need to wrap it so that it fits around both the hammer toe and a straight toe that is next to it. Take the strip under the hammer toe and over the toe that is on the other side then wrap it tightly enough that it bends the hammer toe into the correct shape – but not so much that it hurts. You may also wish to wrap it under a third toe on the other side to straighten it out on both sides – this will prevent you from repeatedly bending the toe you are using for support and potentially creating another hammer toe as a result.

At the end of the process then you should have tape that passes under and over each toe several times in an ‘S’ shape. From here you should then cut another piece of tape and use this in order to make a full wrap of the remaining three toes. Cut off any excess tape with scissors.

Put on your shoe: Now put on your shoe being careful not to damage change the position of the toes or to damage the tape your administered. Also ensure that the shoes you wear are large enough that they can fit your three toes in their proper position.

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Gary Wickman

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