The earlier you seek treatment for problematic foot conditions, the better the outcome. This advice is especially true for the condition called hammertoe which causes the toes to bend into hammer-like shapes.
The frequent appearance of corns on the tops of the bent sections where the toes rub against footwear is a further complication. Hammertoes often occur in families and inherited muscle imbalances can exacerbate the condition.
People who wear tight-fitting shoes such as high heels are more susceptible to developing hammertoes due to the added stress and pressure.
Hammertoes are more flexible and treatable in the early stages, and can often be helped by stretching them to a normal position and holding in place. An older hammertoe becomes more bent and rigid and may require more aggressive treatment.
Early hammertoe treatments include:
- Toe strengthening and flexibility exercises—Try the towel scrunching exercise by standing on a small towel and bunching up the material with your toes. Picking up small objects with your toes and dropping them elsewhere is also a good exercise.
- Toe extensions—Spread out your toes and stretch them with the addition of manual manipulation and massage.
- Padding—Corns and that often appear on the tops of hammertoes can be insulated with pads that can help reduce friction to alleviate pain.
- Extra foot room—You need to have enough room in your shoes for your feet to stretch and for the insertion of orthotic inserts as prescribed by your podiatrist.
For more advice on hammertoe treatment, consult with our expert podiatrist. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.