SUMMARY: Wondering why you have overlapping toes? This toe problem is more complex than you think! Read on to know the causes of overlapping toes and why some people have it.
Why Do I Have Overlapping Toes?
You may have been believing all this time that overlapping toe are not serious and are merely a cosmetic issue. The truth is, it is a serious problem that requires your attention. It may seem to be a minor issue when it first happens. However, if it is not treated, this type of foot problem can cause pain. Also, friction between toes that are not properly aligned and a shoe’s interior surface can cause severe irritation.
The fifth toe, also known as the “pinky,” is usually the one affected as it gets smashed up against other toes until it almost appears to overlap them. In some cases the overlapping is very literal. The big toe is also a common candidate for this condition. Although it is commonly seen in the big toe and fifth toe, it can happen to any of the toes of your foot.
Why do toes overlap?
As the condition is more serious than most people realize, its causes are also more complicated. People believe that using poor footwear is the main cause of overlapping toes. Wearing shoes that are too tight can worsen the condition, but it is not the sole cause of the condition. The exact cause is still unclear, but several factors are considered responsible for the development of overlapping toes. One is a hammer toe. So what causes a hammer toe?
A hammer toe is caused by an imbalance between the tendons and muscles of the foot. The imbalance affects the natural function of the foot, and over time this can lead to a hammer toe. A hammer toe can then develop into overlapping toes.
The imbalance is usually caused by years of wearing the wrong footwear, but can also be due to genetics. This means that even those who religiously care for their foot and only wear shoes with big toe boxes may still end up with hammertoes and eventually overlapping toes.
Understanding the causes of overlapping toes
Your choice of footwear can be the cause of overlapping toe. If you constantly wear tight shoes, you may end up with bunions, which can cause you to have overlapping toe later on. Bunions affect the big toe, causing the second toe to have insufficient space. As the toes cramp up, you can develop overlapping toe.
Shoes that are too narrow and too tight compress the toes even if a person is sitting. Rigid shoes that do not flex during movement – such as walking, jumping, and running – can be problematic as well. Your toes have to flex when you walk, jump, and run; if they couldn’t flex, you may end up with foot problems like overlapping toes.
Some foot deformities and genetic conditions can cause overlapping toe. These include morton’s toe, stiff tendons, and other inherited foot deformities. These foot problems can cause an imbalance in the tendons and muscles of the foot.
An imbalance can change the way you walk, causing your toes to bend over time and the alignment of your toes to change. Your feet will then cramp up even if you are wearing big toe box shoes.
The condition has been seen to run in families; some children who have overlapping toe have parents with the same condition. Toe deformities are quite common among infants and small children. Like other toe deformities, overlapping toes can worsen if not treated promptly.