Care for HammertoesJuly 18, 2016
Hammertoes can be a painful and frustrating condition, but this condition can be treated. Using a combination of physician-guided techniques and home remedies, many patients can control hammertoes and even reverse some or all of the symptoms.
How Can A Doctor Treat Your Hammertoes?
Physician treatment for hammertoes depends on the severity of the problem. Cases of hammertoes can be broken into two categories: rigid and flexible. Hammertoes in their early stages are flexible, therefore the joint can still be bent. Rigid hammertoes can no longer bend at the middle joint.
Physicians correct rigid hammertoes mainly through surgery, but they have many ways to treat flexible hammertoes. These methods include:
- Exercises. A podiatrist can show you how to perform exercises that can provide pain relief and strengthen the muscles of the toes.
- Custom-made inserts. Custom-made inserts can increase your comfort and prevent the condition from worsening.
- Medication. A podiatrist can prescribe medications that control swelling and reduce your pain.
What Can You Do at Home to Treat Hammertoes?
Your doctor can also show you ways that you can treat hammertoes in your own home. The methods below can help you control the pain and discomfort that comes from hammertoes. These home methods include:
- Ice the foot. Putting ice on the feet can help reduce the swelling and can also reduce any pain you might feel.
- Wear over the counter hammertoe pads. Non-medicated hammertoe pads can prevent irritation of the joint.
- Massage. Massaging the affected toes can improve blood flow and improve your overall comfort.
How Can You Prevent Hammertoes?
If you’re at risk for hammertoes, you can prevent this problem by using the following techniques:
- Wear the right shoes. Shoes with pointy toes, high-heeled shoes and uncomfortable shoes that bend the feet into unnatural positions can cause hammertoes. The best way to prevent this from happening is to wear shoes that are flat, wide and comfortable. If you already have a history of hammertoes and have been treated for the problem, wearing shoes that are tall and soft on the top will prevent the joints from rubbing painfully inside the shoes.
- Work with a foot doctor. If you have a pre-disposition for problems like hammertoes, either because you have high arches or flat feet, working with a foot doctor will help you keep your feet healthy and comfortable. Your foot doctor can recommend the right shoes for your feet and can also show you exercises that will help keep the muscles of the toes working properly together.
- Get your shoe size re-evaluated regularly. Feet tend to flatten and widen as they age. Getting your shoe size re-evaluated regularly will help ensure that the shoes you wear are right for your feet.
Contact Anchorage Foot and Ankle
At Anchorage Foot and Ankle, we help patients recover from this condition, and we work with patients at high risk for this condition. Contact us today for more information or to make an appointment for hammertoe treatment. Call us at 907-344-2155.