The condition called hammertoes affects the small toes and causes one or more of them to bend in an abnormal manner so they point down at the joints, resembling a hammer. When all four toes are affected at once, the condition is called claw foot.
The bend in hammertoes can cause them to rub against the inside of your footwear, causing the development of painful corns and blisters. For toes that are in the initial stages of the condition and are still flexible, you can treat and straighten them with a variety of simple methods.
Some easy and effective early hammertoe treatments include the following:
- Wear properly fitted shoes—Always wear shoes with extra room in the toe box for your toes to move and to allow for the proper placement of inserts.
- Custom orthotic inserts, braces and pads—Orthotic shoe inserts, insulating pads, and braces can be used to keep the toes in the proper position while also decreasing friction on the inside of your footwear. Specially-made braces can be worn at night to straighten the toes.
- Pain relief—Tylenol or Ibuprofen may be used in moderation for pain relief and to reduce inflammation.
- Physical therapy exercises—Doing strength and flexibility exercises like towel scrunches and picking up small objects like marbles with your toes will help keep them flexible.
Hammertoes that are severely bent and rigid may require surgery to straighten.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from hammertoes, see your foot doctor for the best treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.