The condition called hammertoe is primarily an inherited condition but it is exacerbated by tight fitting shoes or from footwear that doesn’t have proper arch support. These abnormalities are called hammertoes because the severe bend caused in the middle toes can resemble a hammer or even a claw when multiple toes are affected.
Hammertoes tend to become more rigid and painful over time, so it is important to visit your foot care specialist for treatment in the beginning stages when the toes are more flexible and easier to treat.
5 conservative treatments for hammertoes include the following:
- Properly fitted footwear—Always wear shoes with a roomy toe box area to help relieve the pressure that is contributing to the bending. This will also decrease pressure on painful corns that often grown on hammertoes.
- Anti-inflammatory medicine—Oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol and steroid injection treatments can reduce pain, swelling, and rigidity.
- Physical therapy exercises— Increase strength and flexibility of the toes and tendons with a variety of helpful exercises.
- Custom made orthotic inserts—Specially designed custom made orthotic shoe inserts can be placed to help control the imbalance between the muscle and tendon that is contributing the tendency of the toe to bend abnormally.
- Cushions and pads—Moleskin pads for blisters, corns and calluses are used to eliminate the source of rubbing and decrease skin problems.
When hammertoes become more advanced and painful surgery may be needed to straighten them. Tendons may need to be relocated and some bone may have to be removed.
If you need help treating painful hammertoes seeing your podiatrist is the best way to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.