feet are critical for movement, so when imbalances occur within the
feet this can often lead to additional issues such as flat feet,
bunions, and hammertoes. A hammertoe is more commonly found in women
and this condition impacts the middle joint of the smaller toes,
causing the affected toes to bend down like a claw. Since hammertoes,
like bunions, are progressive you must turn to our podiatrists here
at Southwest Podiatry to find out how to best care for your
Do you have hammertoes?
A hammertoe causes the affected toe to bend into a claw-like position due to a deformity in the middle joint of the small toes. Classic symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain and discomfort of the toe, especially when wearing shoes
- A corn or callus on the toe
- Redness or inflammation
- Inability to straighten the toe (in more severe cases)
What causes hammertoes?
The most common cause of this condition is a muscular imbalance. Over time, this imbalance changes the overall structure of the foot, causing one or more toes to bend downward. Some people inherit their hammertoes; however, hammertoes can also be caused or aggravated by wearing form-fitted shoes that force the toe into a bent, cramped position.
How do you treat hammertoes?
How our podiatrists decide to treat your hammertoe will depend on how far the deformity has progressed. The good news is that most hammertoes can be treated with conservative care from the comfort of your own home. Our team may create custom orthotics (insoles) to place in your shoes to correct imbalances. We may recommend special shoes or appropriate footwear. Pain relievers, padding, and stretching exercises can also help to alleviate stiffness, pain, and swelling. Surgery to correct the hammertoe is only recommended if the hammertoe is severely deformed and rigid (meaning that you can’t actively straighten the toe) or if it’s causing you significant pain.
If you suspect that you might have a hammertoe, it’s always a good idea to consult a podiatrist who specializes in treating conditions and injuries that impact the feet and ankles. To schedule an appointment with Southwest Podiatry in Wytheville, VA.