How to tape a hammer toe

Written by jayme richards
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How to tape a hammer toe
Hammer toe is a deformity caused by improper shoes. It can be relieved by taping the affected toe. (toes image by Sandra Henderson from

A hammer toe is a condition in which one of the joints of the second, third or fourth toe is permanently bent, resembling a hammer. Hammer toe is usually the result of wearing high heels or shoes that are too small, forcing the toe into a bent position. When the toe is bent for a long time, the muscles shorten and the condition occurs. A hammer toe can be uncomfortable, but it can be relieved by taping the toe into place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • First-aid tape
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of first-aid tape about 6 inches long with scissors.

  2. 2

    Wrap the tape under the toe next to the hammer toe. Then wrap the tape over the hammer toe, and then under the toe on the other side of the hammer toe. This forces the hammer toe into a straightened position.

  3. 3

    Bring the tape back around to the first toe and secure it. You can wrap the entire length of the tape around your toes if it's comfortable.

  4. 4

    Change any footwear that may have caused the hammer toe. Your shoes should be roomy with wide space for your toes and should feature low heels and good arch supports. This will provide sufficient room for your inflicted toe to straighten.

Tips and warnings

  • Wrapping a hammer toe will not straighten the toe permanently, but it does ease any pain or discomfort. There are stretching exercises and surgeries that can be done to correct the deformity. Consult your doctor.
  • You can buy first-aid tape at a pharmacy or drugstore.

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