Hammertoe is a condition where the toe joints become fixed in a bent or curled position, causing the toe to resemble a hammer. Symptoms typically include pain and discomfort in the affected toe or toes, especially when walking or wearing shoes.
Furthermore, hammertoe can cause the affected toe to develop corns, calluses, or blisters due to the constant rubbing and pressure from shoes. Over time, it can become increasingly rigid and difficult to treat, potentially leading to permanent deformity or disability.
You can learn more about hammertoe here.
If you suspect you have a hammertoe, you should see a Florida foot specialist for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options. With proper care and attention, many cases of hammertoe can be effectively managed and relieved, allowing you to continue enjoying an active and healthy lifestyle.
There are a variety of treatment options available for hammertoe pain. The best treatment technique for you will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual needs. Some of the most effective treatments for hammertoe pain include the following:
Changing your footwear is one of the easiest and most effective ways to treat hammertoe pain. Tight, narrow, or pointed-toe shoes can exacerbate hammertoe and cause significant pain and discomfort.
Instead, opt for shoes with a wider toe box, low heels, and good arch support. This will help to reduce pressure on your toes and alleviate pain.
Exercises and stretches can help to strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes, improving your flexibility and reducing pain. Some effective practices include the following:
Sit with your feet flat on the ground. Lift your toes off the ground and hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower them back down. Repeat 10-15 times.
Walk around on your tiptoes, lifting your toes off the ground with each step. This helps to strengthen the muscles in your toes and improve their flexibility.
Place a marble or small object on the ground in front of you. Use your toes to pick up the object and hold it for a few seconds, then release it back to the ground. Repeat 10-15 times.
Sit on the ground and stretch your legs out in front of you. Loop a towel around your toes and gently pull the towel towards your body, stretching your toes and the bottom of your feet. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release. Repeat 3-5 times.
Sit flat on the ground and place a tennis ball or rolled-up towel under the arch of your foot. Roll the ball or towel back and forth with your foot, massaging and stretching the arch. Repeat for 1-2 minutes on each foot.
Always consult your doctor or foot specialist before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially if you have other foot conditions.
Orthotics are specialized shoe inserts designed to help alleviate foot pain and correct abnormal foot mechanics.
For hammertoe, orthotics can help distribute pressure evenly across your foot, reducing pain and discomfort. Additionally, these customized devices will also provide extra cushioning and shock absorption, thus reducing the stress and impact on your feet when walking or standing.
Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication can effectively manage pain and discomfort associated with hammertoe. Some examples include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected toes, while acetaminophen can help to relieve pain.
OTC pain medication can be combined with other hammertoe treatments, such as shoe inserts, orthotics, or physical therapy. Combining treatments can help to provide complete pain relief and improve your overall foot health.
However, it's important to consult with your doctor or foot specialist before using any medication, especially if you have an existing medical condition or are taking other medications. They can help you determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs and ensure that you're using these medications safely and effectively.
Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medication that can be injected directly into the injured or affected body area. They work by reducing inflammation and swelling, which can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by a hammertoe condition.
Foot doctors or podiatrists only recommend corticosteroid injections during severe cases, usually in conjunction with other conservative treatment options.
The frequency of corticosteroid injections will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual response to treatment. In some cases, a single injection may provide long-lasting relief, while in other cases, multiple injections may be needed over a period of time.
Surgery may be necessary for more severe cases of hammertoe, especially if other treatments have been ineffective. Several types of surgery can be performed for hammertoe, depending on the severity of your condition, the number of toes affected, and your individual needs. This includes the following:
Your doctor will evaluate your condition and discuss the right surgical procedure that will benefit you the most. They will also help you understand the risks and benefits of each method and help you make an informed decision about your treatment.
If you're experiencing hammertoe pain, don't suffer in silence. There are several treatments available for hammertoe pain, including foot exercises, shoe inserts, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, and surgery.
Our board-certified podiatrists at Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists can help determine the best treatment option available to restore foot function and improve overall mobility. Our foot doctors also specialize in other practice areas, such as:
Contact us at 786 662 3893 to get in touch with the best podiatrist or visit our facility.
We have locations throughout South Florida, including the Greater Miami Area (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton). Find a location closest to you!
You can also a submit a form to schedule an appointment.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.