Your feet can take you anywhere you want to go. It is important that you take good care of your feet but there will be instances on which, your feet, especially your toes will have some deformities. In fact, a survey revealed that the majority of adult Americans suffer from foot pain caused by toe deformities. These deformities might not be serious; however, it can affect your quality of life as well as compromise your comfort. One of the most common toe deformities you can develop is hammertoes. 

What is a Hammertoe?

Normally, our toes will point forward. If you have a hammertoe, your toes will bend or curl downward. All your toes are at risk to this deformity, but it usually affects the second or third toe. This deformity is called a hammertoe because it causes your toe to look like a hammer. When there is a muscle or ligament imbalance around the toe joint, this will cause the neighboring toe to buckle up and get stuck in that position. 

Is a hammertoe painful?

When you think about having your toes curled up all the time, you will have an idea that this condition might be painful. People with hammertoes may complain of irritation on the top of their bent toes. Hammertoes can be painful too, but the level of pain depends on the severity of the condition. Fortunately, the hammertoe condition is treatable.

Two types of Hammertoes

  • Flexible hammertoes

When a toe can be moved at the joint, it is considered to be a flexible hammertoe. This condition is an early onset of the condition and is easier to deal with.

  • Rigid hammertoes

Rigid hammertoes happen when you can’t move your toe and the tendons of your toe becomes rigid already, pressing the joint out of the ligament.

Treating Hammertoes

So, what is the best way to treat hammertoes? The severity of the condition will play a big role in what treatment is best for you.

  • For a mild hammertoe

You can deal with a mild hammertoe by using appropriate footwear. Wear shoes or footwear that fits you perfectly. If you think that your condition is caused by a high arch, try wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes. This can help shift your toe’s position, making you feel comfortable while correcting the appearance of your toe.

If there is some pain, use over the counter creams and cushions to alleviate it. You can also consider stretching your toes to get relief.

  • For a severe hammertoe

If your hammertoe condition is too severe for OTC creams and corrective measures, having surgery might just be your only option. Surgery will help restore your toe movement. When properly done, surgery can reposition your toe, realign your tendons and joints back to its normal place and can remove deformed bones. Generally, surgery can be done without staying in the hospital so you can return home right after your surgery.

Anyone can develop hammertoes, but some may be more at risk, especially women, because of the pointy, high heeled shoes, which can put too much pressure on their toes, making them more vulnerable to the condition.  

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