Hammertoes are a foot deformity in which your toes commonly curl or bend to look like the shape of a hammer head, hence the name.
Whether you’re an athlete who complains about the pain while on your daily run or a waitress who’s on her feet for hours at a time, this condition can be quite troublesome and many seek hammertoe treatments without surgery.
Whether it’s poorly fitting footwear, genetics or the result of a trauma or a disease, these painful scrunched toes often rub in your shoes and cause swelling, sores or calluses. Often times, curled toe sufferers are sensitive to weight-bearing pressure as well.
There are a few self-treatment measures for hammertoe relief in as little as a couple weeks:
1. Wear the Right Footwear
Curled toes can be result of poorly sized shoes. Whether your footwear is too tight or you have a shoebox that is too narrow for your toes, extended wear of ill-fitting shoes can trigger hammertoe symptoms.
Having your feet measured by a podiatrist or foot care specialist can help you determine your ideal fit. Typically, avoiding high arched shoes like heels can prevent hammertoe deformities from occuring in the first place, so ensure you are wearing comfortable, low-stress shoes whenever possible.
2. Get Fitted for Custom Inserts
For those seeking relief, even when wearing the “right” shoes, custom-made or fitted orthotics can be inserted in your footwear to accommodate your arches and unique structure.
For more minor cases, a simple toe pad might help relieve pressure by padding and elevating the area beneath the toes. These can also be great long-terms solutions for hammertoe correction.
3. Ice & Massage Toes or Take Proper Medication
If your toes are flaring up upon excessive activity or from being enclosed in footwear, try icing them to reduce the swelling. Massaging the toes can also increase your circulation and bring temporary relief as well.
Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can also take down inflammation and ease the pain until you are able to see a foot care professional.
4. Use Toe Straighteners or Have Your Toes Splint
Meeting a podiatrist for regular therapy and check-ups could be the best solution, as they could prescribe you toe straighteners or get you into fitted splints to slowly ease your toes into a neutral, flat position.
Oftentimes, during these adjustments and sessions, a professional can perform proper hammertoe exercises to stimulate blood flow.
5. Elect for Surgery
In certain cases, the scrunching could be causing poor circulation, which can trigger more than just a numbing sensation. In these cases, a podiatrist might recommend running vascular tests to check for proper blood flow throughout your toes.
Blood vessels throughout the body feed major organs and tissue— and circulation issues can prompt the need for surgery.
Because of this, hammertoe pain lasting more than a few months (with therapy) often requires a medical opinion and should not be regarded lightly.
Get Your Toe Problems Straightened Out!
Curious to learn more about this condition? We’ve outlined the four most common causes of hammertoes to help you determine which applies to you.
Luckily, this foot deformity is completely treatable, and our team at Foot & Ankle Group has seen it all! We have many years of experience diagnosing and treating your toes as painlessly and simply as possible— and we want to help bring you relief.
Learn more about our Hammertoe Treatments and get in for an appointment right away. We pride ourselves on our ability to serve our patients as quickly as possible, oftentimes getting you in the same day you call if your pain is severe.
Contact us for hammertoe correction today by calling 239-936-5400.
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