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How to Relieve Pain from Hammertoes

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
January 06, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Dealing with painful and achy hammertoes?

A hammertoe is a less talked about foot deformity compared to bunions, but they aren’t any less of an issue. A hammertoe causes one or more toes to bend downward, resembling a claw. Since hammertoes can cause pain and other issues, you may wish to speak with our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Rolfes and Dr. Jasper Lee about the best ways to manage your hammertoes.

The Cause of a Hammertoe

The most common reason a hammertoe forms is a muscle imbalance in the foot. Most people don’t notice this imbalance unless they visit our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists for a routine evaluation. Over time this imbalance causes the toe to bend downward and also leads to structural changes in the foot.

Once a hammertoe has formed, wearing tightly fitted shoes or shoes that force the toe into a cramped position can make this problem worse. Always opt for shoes that provide your foot with ample support and give your toes enough room to wiggle and move around.

The Symptoms of a Hammertoe

Here are some telltale signs that you may have a hammertoe,

  • One or more toes bend downward at the middle joint (the toe may resemble a claw)
  • Redness or inflammation of the affected toe
  • Pain or discomfort in the toe when wearing shoes
  • The presence of a corn or callus on the toe

Treating a Hammertoe

In most cases, people can manage their symptoms and prevent their hammertoe from progressing by using these simple nonsurgical methods,

  • Wearing protective padding: Use non-medicated padding over the affected toe to prevent corns or calluses from forming on the hammertoe, or to protect a current corn or callus from rubbing against your shoes.
  • Choose the right shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight, that have high heels or pointed toes can make symptoms worse. Opt instead for comfortable shoes with ample space for your toes.
  • Use custom orthotics: Sometimes wearing these shoe inserts can provide comfort and support and take pressure off certain areas of the foot. This can be a great option for those dealing with a structural or muscular imbalance in the foot.
  • Take medication: Sometimes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can temporarily reduce bouts of pain and swelling.

If the toe has become fixed in place and rigid, the only way to correct the severity of this condition is with surgery.

Dealing with foot pain due to hammertoes? If so, our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists at Stonestown Podiatry Group can help you find effective solutions for managing this common foot deformity. To schedule an evaluation, simply call us at (415) 731-6700.