Are your hammertoes getting worse or affecting your daily activities? Your Ridgefield, CT, podiatrist, Dr. Allan Rosenthal of Advanced Foot Care Center, can offer treatments that will relieve your pain and help you manage your hammertoe symptoms.
How hammertoes form
Hammertoes are toes that bend at a right angle. If you look at the toe from the side, you'll notice that it looks a lot like a hammer. The condition occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that keep your toe flat become imbalanced. Initially, hammertoes are flexible and can be flattened by pressing on them. Eventually, they may become rigid and unbending.
You may be more likely to develop hammertoes due to an injury, arthritis, high arches, or wearing shoes that are too tight. If you frequently wear tight shoes, the muscles and tendons in your toe may become shorter and tighter, making it impossible to straighten your toe.
What you can do about hammertoes
Following a few of these recommendations may help ease your pain:
- Get Rid of Your Tight Shoes: Replacing your tight shoes with ones that offer plenty of room to wiggle your toes is a good idea if you have a hammertoe. Open-toed shoes and sandals may be more comfortable options during warmer weather.
- Try a Few Exercises: Toe exercises can keep your toe flexible and reduce stiffness. Spend at least a few minutes every day scrunching a towel with your toes, or try to pick up marbles or other small objects with your toes.
- Pad Your Toes: Applying adhesive pads to the tops of your hammertoes will reduce pain and pressure when you wear shoes.
- Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, may reduce pain and swelling. Ice packs can also help ease swelling and pain.
- Visit Your Ridgefield Foot Doctor: Your podiatrist may recommend taping your toes and wearing orthotics in your shoes. Orthotics realign your feet and redistribute your weight, easing pressure on your toes. If your pain doesn't improve after taking over-the-counter medication, a corticosteroid injection may be helpful. Surgery to straighten your toe may be the best option if it has become rigid.
Do you have hammertoes? Call your podiatrist in Ridgefield, CT, Dr. Allan Rosenthal of Advanced Foot Care Center, at (203) 431-0048 to schedule your appointment.