Posts for tag: Hammertoes
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.
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
Could your scrunched up toes actually be the result of this foot deformity?
Foot deformities are actually more common than you may imagine. From arthritis and sports-related injuries to wearing the wrong shoes over the years, there are many reasons hammertoes develop. If you are currently dealing with painful bent toes, our Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, podiatrists, Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Mahmoud Salem, are here to tell you whether you may be suffering from hammertoes and what you should do about it.
If you aren’t experiencing pain or any other symptoms as a result of your hammertoes then you may be more likely to just ignore the issue, but it’s important that you don’t. After all, many foot deformities like this one can become worse if you don’t give your feet the proper care they deserve.
A hammertoe is the result of a muscular imbalance within the foot. When the muscles of the feet are weak or overworked this, in turn, affects the health and length of the tendons. As these tendons become stretched it pulls the toes downward at the joint, causing the toes to look claw-like. If you notice that your toes are naturally bent rather than straight then you could very well be dealing with hammertoes.
Again, not all foot problems in the early stages will present with symptoms. Maybe you hadn’t even thought twice about your bent toes until you read this; however, if you suspect that something isn’t right it’s the perfect time to address the issue with our Williamsburg and Hampton foot doctors before the problem progresses. Getting the proper care and treatment early on is crucial to healthy feet for the long term.
Plus, treating the issue is pretty easy if you catch it soon enough. Most of the time people can get away with taking simple day-to-day precautions to make sure their hammertoes don’t get worse. Some lifestyle changes include:
- Wearing shoes that don’t put pressure on your toes or cause them to bunch up. Also, tossing out shoes that don’t provide enough support or cushioning, and avoiding high heels.
- Icing the toe or taking pain relievers if you do experience any discomfort.
- Splinting the toe in order to improve its alignment and the structure of the foot.
- Applying a protective moleskin padding over the hammertoe (particularly where the joint bents) to prevent a corn from forming and to take pressure off the joint when wearing shoes.
Most of the time these simple measures can work wonders for preventing the hammertoe from getting worse. Of course, in rare cases, you may require surgery if the joint is inflexible.
Don’t let a hammertoe alter your life. We can help create the proper treatment plan that will reduce pain and other symptoms. If you have questions about caring for your hammertoe in Williamsburg or Hampton, VA, call Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists today.
A hammertoe is one of the most common toe conditions, usually stemming from muscle imbalance in which the joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe are bent into a contracted, claw-like position. In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple conservative measures, but if left untreated, they can become fixed and require surgery.
The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle imbalance. Tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes often aggravate the condition, crowding your toes forward. A hammertoe can also be the result of injury in which you break or jam the toe, or from conditions like arthritis or stroke that affect nerves and muscles. In some cases, hammertoes may even be inherited.
Because of their clenched, claw-like appearance, hammertoes will generally be visibly present. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
- Redness or swelling at a toe joint
- Development of calluses and corns
- Open sores in severe cases
The foot and ankle professionals at our office recommend the following for preventing and reducing the symptoms associated with hammertoe:
- Wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes that provide support and allow enough room for your toes
- Avoid high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes
- Stretch your toe muscles to relieve pressure and pain
- Apply splints, cushions or pads to relieve pressure
- Moisturize with cream to keep the skin soft
Generally, a modification of footwear will reduce the symptoms associated with hammertoe. Other non-surgical treatment includes padding to shield corns and calluses and orthotic devices that are placed in the shoe to help control muscle imbalance. We can help you determine the best treatment for your symptoms. Severe cases that don't respond to conservative measures may require surgery to restore your toe's flexibility and eliminate the pressure.
Hammertoes are progressive - they don't go away by themselves and the condition usually gets worse over time. Once a podiatrist at has evaluated your hammertoe, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.