Hammer, claw, and mallet toes are toes that do not have the right shape. They may look odd or may hurt, or both. The muscles that control your toes get out of balance and cause the toe to bend into an odd position at one or more joints. These toe problems almost always happen in the four smaller toes, not the big toe. If you notice that your toe looks odd or hurts, talk to your doctor. You may be able fix your toe with home treatment. If you do not treat your toe right away, you are more likely to need surgery. If one of your legs is shorter than the other, that may increase your risk of pain in your knees or hips, some researchers suspect. UNC’s Yvonne Golightly, PT, PhD, explains what researchers do and don’t know about this surprisingly common condition. As many as 70 percent of people also have legs that are slightly different in length. Usually, the discrepancy is small – less than a centimeter – and it probably doesn’t make a difference to your health. High heels sexualise the woman - accentuating legs, tight calves, back arch. Wearing heels long time causes back strain, leading to long term aching, tightness and even misalignment of the spine. Bunion pads protect your foot from rubbing on your shoe and relieve the pressure over the enlarged joint at the base of your big toe. You can also use an ice pack or cold compress to help numb pain and reduce any swelling. Orthotics Orthotics are devices that are placed inside your shoes and help realign the bones of your foot. They can relieve the pressure on your bunion, which can help ease the pain caused by the deformity. Material – orthotics can be made from a number of different materials including graphite, polypropylene, leather and cork. The material that best suits your lifestyle will be chosen Untreated hard skin leads to cracking and bleeding. Rubbing pumice stones on the hard skin after bathing is the best treatment. It removes hard skin after which you have to apply some moisturizer. Killer heels have, for some time now have been the trend of celebrities and those emulating them and as such the high street has reflected this trend with more daring and higher heels then ever before. French designer Christian Louboutin even hit headlines with nine inch stilettos with red soles that are due to be auctioned off for charity. If and when it does begin to hurt, there are several things you can do to ease your discomfort. You can pad the bump with felt or moleskin. Or try a shoe stretcher to stretch the front of your shoe, relieving pressure on the bunion part of your foot. Shoe inserts called orthoses can redistribute your weight so the bunion doesn’t constantly rub against your shoe. Foot doctors called podiatrists can fit you with these inserts. For pain, try NSAID pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Hot and cold compresses may also help. Abnormal foot function is a common cause of a tailor's bunion. The foot is a complex, shock-absorbing structure with many joints. If there is excess motion in one part of the foot when stability is needed, changes in foot structure can occur. The gradual separation between the metatarsal bones that leads to a bunion is an example of this. Helps align overlapping digits and encourage extension of flexible hammer or claw toes during gait. Helps reduce toe tip pressure and irritation. Effective following surgical correction of toes or metatarsals. April is Foot Health Awareness Month. The American Podiatric Medical Association website offers consumer information on foot care ( www.apma.org/learn/index.cfm ). A bunion forms when the bursa (a sac of fluid at friction points between the tendons and bone in some areas and between bone and the skin in others) becomes inflamed along the edge of the joint at the base of the big toe. There are two types of bunions The acute bunion causes the sharper pain. It develops from a bursitis , a sudden outcropping of a fluid-filled sac. The symptoms of a bunionette include pain and difficulty buying shoes that will not cause pain around the deformity. The swelling in the area causes a visible bump that some people find unsightly. Diagnosis Are you even sure you're wearing the right size? Have your feet measured by a professional at a shoe store. They'll be able to tell you not only which size you are, but whether you have any special width needs. Ask about which brands they carry that fit your type of foot best - salesmen often know whether a particular brand runs narrow or a half-size small. Bunions can also be very painful. They are commonly caused by pressure and abnormal motion on the joint of the big toe. One of the most common underlying causes of this problem is shoes that do not fit properly.