Treatments For Hammertoes
The next time you’re barefoot, take a look at your toes and make a note of what you see. For people who don’t suffer from hammertoe, their toes point forward and don’t come across as anything out of the ordinary. However, for those who do have hammertoe, their toes are bent or curled downward. This is can be caused by wearing tight high-heeled shoes, arthritis, toe injuries, and pressure from bunions.
But, unlike some foot conditions, hammertoe correction is easy if caught early and treated the right way. If ignored and left untreated, hammertoe can become more serious and require surgery to correct. To prevent a more severe condition where it affects your ability to walk and flex your toes, make sure to avoid these five mistakes:
1. High Heels Don’t Let Your Toes Breathe
If you’re already noticing early signs of hammertoe, such as toes that bend downward or constant corns or calluses, the biggest mistake you can make is continuing to wear high heels or shoes that are too small or too tight. When you wear shoes that don’t fit your foot properly, they squeeze the toes and force them to curl to accommodate your footwear. To avoid making your hammertoe worse, avoid wearing high heels over two inches and be sure all of your other shoes are the proper size and provide you with enough room to let your toes stretch out. This should help relieve and correct hammer toe on its own.
2. Toe and Foot Strengthening Exercises
Like any muscle, you need to exercise and stretch your toes to keep them flexible and strong. If you begin to see signs of hammertoe, there are exercises you can do to help correct the problem before it gets any worse.
- Towel curls: Put a towel under your feet and crumple it with your toes.
- Marble pickups: Use your toes to pick up marbles from the ground and drop them in a cup.
3. Treat Calluses, Corns, and Blisters
If you have hammertoe, it's likely that you are also dealing with calluses, corns, and blisters. All of these can cause pain and discomfort when walking, and can get much worse if not treated. Cushion the affected areas by wearing orthotics and take over the counter medication like ibuprofen for any pain you’re experiencing. As annoying as calluses, corns, and blisters are, never pop or cut into them, as this can lead to an infection and damage your foot even more. If taken care of in a timely manner, your toes and feet will heal and improve your overall hammertoe condition.
If you have bunions, pressure from your big toe pointing inwards can lead to deformities in your second toe and, eventually, your other toes as well. Bunions is a condition that won’t fix itself on its own and will eventually lead to hammertoe. Make sure you consult with your doctor and get your bunions treated before they lead to worse foot problems and pain.
5. Consult a Doctor
If wearing proper footwear and doing exercises on your own doesn’t reverse your hammertoe, the worst thing you can do is let the symptoms persist and not consult a medical professional. Your doctor can do x-rays, ultrasounds to review your foot’s blood flow, and nerve testing to determine if you have any nerve damage. All this analysis will help your doctor determine how severe the condition is and develop a game plan to correct your hammertoe.
Make sure to check out the high-quality Orthotics below to help alleviate your hammertoe pain today!