A hammertoe is a condition that usually affects the second and third toes causing the toe to bend abnormally at the joint in the shape of a hammer. This problem often affects people who have muscle imbalances in their feet. These imbalances can cause varying tensions on ligaments and tendons causing them to perform and grow abnormally. Wearing restrictive shoes such as pumps can exacerbate these tendencies, and increase the chances of forming corns and calluses on the hammertoe.
Hammertoes should be treated in the early stages when the toes are still flexible enough to be stretched into a straight position.
Some early treatments for hammertoes include:
- Strengthening and stretching exercises—The muscles that extend and contract the toes can be made stronger by picking up marbles or other small objects with your toes. Also try standing on a small towel and scrunching your toes up and back. Repeat ten times. Stretching out the toe manually can also help straighten the toe.
- Wear roomy shoes—It’s very important that your toes have enough room to stretch out. Use properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box, and avoid shoes that restrict your toe movement.
- Padding—Corns may need to be isolated with special pads to prevent friction against the top of your footwear.
If a hammertoe goes untreated for a long time, it may become very rigid and lose any flexibility. Sometimes this can cause severe pain and difficulty with walking, in which case surgery may be necessary. Different types of surgery are used depending upon the condition and rigidity of your hammertoe.
If you are experiencing problems with hammertoes, schedule an appointment with Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha 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!