Perform big toe exercises every day. Complete three sets of 20 repetitions for the towel and marbles exercises and one set of 10 repetitions for the toe flexes. Wiggle your toes around and perform bodyweight calf raises to warm the toes before performing any exercises. Stretch the big toes after your workout by gently pulling them toward your body with your hands.
Hammertoe Exercises - Health video
When toes are normal, they extend straight out and have a natural downward curvature. But when hammer toes develop, they're bent to the side at the middle joint and generally occur in the second, third or fourth toe. They develop as a result of improper footwear in conjunction with the fact that the muscles in the toes can't stretch out. One treatment option is specific exercises.
A crunch is an abs exercise, but there's another type of crunch that can be done to work the toes. To perform it, sit on a chair in a comfortable position with no sock on your affected foot. Place a towel on the floor and put the upper half of your foot on it. Keep your heel down on the ground and crunch the towel up with your toes. Release them back out and repeat 10 to12 times.
Taps can be done from the same position as toe crunches. With bare feet, extend your big toe down toward the floor while extending your remaining toes up in the air. Hold this position and lightly tap the floor with your toes. Do 10 to 12 taps and then reverse your toe position so your big toe is pointing up and your other toes are pointing down. Repeat the same taps.
You can also stretch your toes with the use of a towel to help lengthen the muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs straight and out in front of you. Wrap a towel under the toes, gently apply backward pressure and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also use your hand to pull the toes back.
Toe rolls are similar to when you tap your fingers from side to side on a table. Stand barefoot on a flat surface. Lift all of your toes off the ground together, then roll them down one at a time from the little toe to the big toe. Lift them up and repeat 10 to 12 times, then change directions.
The squeeze exercise can be performed from a seated position. Place your foot over your thigh comfortably. Slide your fingers in between your toes and squeeze your toes together. Release and repeat 10 to 12 times. If it's too much to do all of your toes, start with only one or two and eventually work your way up to all of them.
Put a rolled towel under the person's thigh. For the ankle exercises, support the person's ankle with one hand, and his toes with the other hand. For the toe exercises, allow his foot to relax on the bed, and hold only his toes.
Everyday household items -- such as a towel, a book, marbles and a chair -- serve as equipment for toe exercises. Sit tall in a chair for all exercises. Place a towel on the floor by your foot and with your heel secure on the ground, use your big toe to pull the towel toward you. To perform toe flexes, start by placing your foot on top of a book with the toes hanging off of the edge. Bend the toes down toward the floor and hold for one count. Finally, put 10 marbles on the floor next to your foot and pick them up one by one using your toes.