Posts for category: toe deformities
The condition known as the hammertoe deformity is so named due to the bending that happens to one or more of your middle toe joints that causes the toes to take on the shape of a hammer. When the bend occurs at the end to joint, the result is a mallet toe.
Hammertoes are largely caused by a genetic imbalance between the tiny tendons and small muscles that normally hold the toe in the proper position but it can be exacerbated by tightly fitting footwear like high-heeled shoes.
Since hammertoes have a tendency to worsen over time, see your foot doctor when you first notice the problem for the easiest and least painful treatment.
5 of the more conservative treatments for hammertoes include the following:
- The right shoes—Properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box will eliminate the pressure that is contributing to the bending of the toes and will also provide room for pads and inserts.
- Custom orthotic inserts—Your foot doctor can create custom shoe inserts to help control the imbalance between the toe muscle and tendon that is causing the toe to bend in the shape of a hammer.
- Pain relief medications—Anti-inflammatory medications including Tylenol and ibuprofen can be taken in moderation to reduce pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy exercises— A great way to increase the strength and flexibility of your toes is with a variety of physical therapy exercises. Consult with your foot doctor for a comprehensive routine.
- Insulating pads—Pads for corns can be placed on the top of hammertoes to help insulate the toes from rubbing on the inside of your shoes.
Hammertoes that are more advanced and that have become rigid and painful will probably require surgery to straighten them out.
If you are experiencing complications with hammertoes, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
It is always a good idea to seek treatment for foot conditions like hammertoes early when you first notice that there’s something off about your toes. In the beginning, they are much easier to treat because your toes are more flexible and can be forced into a straight position, whereas progressed hammertoes cause rigid, permanently-bent toes.
The further your toes bend, the more likely they will rub against the inside of your shoes where the constant friction will cause painful, oozing corns to develop right on the joint where they’re bent.
Needless to say, this is a very painful development that can be avoided when the hammertoe is treated earlier.
The best early hammertoe treatments include:
- Toe stretching and strengthening exercises—The towel scrunching exercise involves standing on a small towel and bunching up the cloth with your toes and releasing. Repeat ten times. Picking up small objects such as marbles with your toes and dropping them in a cup is also a good technique.
- Toe extension exercises—While spreading your toes, stretch them with the addition of manual manipulation and massage.
- Padding and orthotic inserts—Painful corns often appear on the tops of hammertoes and they can be insulated with pads. Orthotic inserts are used to redirect pressure and to help realign the bent toe.
- Shoes with a wide toe box—Choose shoes with a wider toe area and enough room for your toes to stretch without hitting the top of your footwear.
If you are experiencing complications with hammertoes, enlisting the help of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our expert podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha provides the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for all of your foot and ankle concerns. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!