Hammertoes make shoe shopping difficult and affect your ability to walk without pain. Podiatrists Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Mahmoud Salem of Hampton Roads Fort and Ankle Specialists in Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, offer treatments that ease hammertoe pain.
Why do I have a hammertoe?
Hammertoes occur when the first joint of your toe bends at a right angle, resembling a hammer. The bend in your toe can develop due to arthritis, foot injuries or muscle imbalances. The type of shoes you prefer may also be to blame for hammertoes. If you wear tight shoes, your toes are subjected to constant pressure that may cause them to bend. Although your hammertoe may be flexible at first, the tendon that permits normal movement may tighten over time, making it impossible to straighten your toe.
What are the symptoms of hammertoe?
In addition to the distinctive appearance, you may experience several other signs and symptoms if you have a hammertoe, including:
- Pain when you wear shoes
- Blisters or irritation at the spot where your shoes rub against your hammertoe
- Corns or calluses on the ball of your foot
- Inability to straighten your toe
What can I do about my hammertoe?
Hammertoe pain can often be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and applications of ice. Choose shoes that provide plenty of room in the toe box and don't press on your hammertoe. Adding an adhesive pad to the top of the toe can reduce pressure and pain.
If you can straighten your toe by pressing on it, you may be able to reverse your condition with toe exercises, such as crumpling a towel with your toes or picking up marbles. When nothing you do helps your hammertoe, or it's no longer flexible, it may be time for a visit to your Williamsburg or Hampton foot doctor.
Podiatrists offer a variety of treatments for hammertoe, including prescription anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone injections for pain, and orthotics to increase your comfort when you wear shoes. Your foot doctor may also recommend that you wear a splint or tape your toe to hold it in the correct position. If your hammertoe has become rigid, surgery may be necessary.
Don't let hammertoe pain keep you from doing the things you enjoy. Schedule an appointment with podiatrists Drs. Sara Bouraee and Mahmoud Salem of Hampton Roads Fort and Ankle Specialists by calling (757) 220-3311 for the Williamsburg, VA, office or (757) 224-7605 for the Hampton, VA, office.