There are many kinds of foot deformities that our podiatrists here at The Foot Hub in Sydney treat.
This month we’re looking at hammertoe – what is it and how should you treat it?
What Is Hammertoe
Hammertoe is a bending deformity of the toes, usually affecting one or both joints in the small toes.
It usually starts mildly and can become much worse in the long term if not diagnosed and treated properly.
The toes become bent and over time, if not treated, can become almost locked into a bent position, instead of being able to remain straight and flexible.
Causes Of Hammertoe
Hammertoe can be caused by a muscle imbalance in the toes. When the muscles in the toes stop being able to help the toe bend and straighten, it can lead to the toe or toes becoming permanently bent over on themselves.
Hammertoe is also not helped by poor shoe choices, often with women who wear high heels or shoes that squeeze the toes together for long periods being affected.
Sometimes hammertoe can be caused by trauma to the foot or even inherited from a parent who was affected if there is a genetic predisposition.
Symptoms Of Hammertoe
Some of the most common symptoms of hammertoe include:
- Corns or callouses
- Inflammation or redness
- Restricted toe movement
- Bending of the toes
- Difficulty walking
Treatment Options For Hammertoe
Depending on at what stage you’re diagnosed with hammertoe, there are several options when it comes to treatment of this foot condition.
Exercises – Simple exercises prescribed by your podiatrist are a good starting point if the hammertoe is not too severe.
Footwear Changes – Changing to more suitable footwear is often recommended as well. Low heels or no heels are ideal, along with a spacious box area for your toes so they are not squished into the end of the shoe.
Custom Orthotics – Your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics for your shoes to try and reduce the pain and severity of the hammertoe.
Pain Relief – If the pain is severe, your podiatrist will share some options for suitable pain relief for your condition. This could include over the counter foot straps, anti-inflammatories, foot splints, or possibly steroid injections.
Our podiatrists are experienced, friendly, and can help your feet on the road to recovery today.