Hammertoes are a deformity to your toe, which causes pain and difficulty walking. They got their name from how the toe joint usually resembles a hammer. If you leave a hammertoe uninterrupted, it will become stiff, and you might not be able to move it. That’s why healing your hammertoe quickly is the most important step forward.
Signs and Symptoms
Thankfully, there are ways you can heal your hammertoe and get back to walking normally. Before we get into treatment options, let’s go over some ways you can tell if you have this condition.
- A rigid joint in your toe
- Pain at the top of your toe
- Pain in the ball of your foot
- Corns or calluses on the inflicted toe
- Redness or inflammation
- A burning sensation in the toe
- Difficulty moving your toe
- Joint swelling
- Open sores (in extreme cases)
Wearing uncomfortable shoes can make your symptoms worse.
The downside to hammertoes is that there aren’t many ways you can help your condition at home. If you have a hammertoe, it’s crucial to get the help of a podiatrist as soon as you can. Once you talk to your foot doctor, you’ll get some treatment options. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Custom orthotics or shoe inserts
- Cortisone shots for pain relief
- Over-the-counter medication, like Advil or Aleve
- Taping your toe, which can change the muscle imbalance
- Incorporating insulated padding, minimizing pressure
- Surgery, if your pain is severe and interrupts daily activity or the above options don’t work
Preventing a Hammertoe
The best thing you can do for your feet is to prevent a problem or condition before it develops. In order to keep a hammertoe at bay, remember these tips:
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes – this is the best way you can stop a hammertoe
- Use a pumice stone for any corns or calluses
- Keep your toes flexible and strong by incorporating stretches and foot exercises into your daily routine
Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Anne-Louise Smith, Dr. Justin Muser, and the rest of the staff at Syracuse Podiatry in East Syracuse, New York, can help treat and care for your feet. Call us at 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online to get help today.