Hammertoe Pain: What Can I Do To Stop It?

Hammertoes, a claw-like deformity of the second and third toes, can be not only embarrassing but very painful as well. As the toes raise into a claw-like position and the condition progresses, suffers are desperate to find ways to help alleviate the pain.

Hammertoes are a common condition that occur as a result of your genetics, wearing high heels and stuffing your feet into too small or narrow toe boxes, which crowd your toes and cause the middle joints of the toe to shift upward.

As hammertoes progress, the top of the hammertoe can begin rubbing the top of your shoes, leading to painful corns on top of the toe joint. Your affected toes may even begin to swell and turn red in color. Your mobility of the toes may also become limited and more rigid, making it hard and painful to move the joints, and the ball of your foot under the hammertoes may even begin to hurt.

So what can you do to help alleviate the pain?

For corns and calluses, choosing shoes with wider toe boxes or open-toed shoes can help alleviate the irritation the top of the toe receives. Try choosing shoes where the shoe is a half-inch longer than your longest toe to help alleviate crowding. Cushioned stick-on pads placed on top of the hammertoes may also help to prevent and stop corns and calluses from forming. But be sure to avoid high heels, as this will only causing this condition to worsen.

A taping method called “buddy taping,” which is when you use gauze or sports tape to help keep the hammertoe in its correct position. This can help reduce your discomfort, but if the toe has become rigid, you may need to seek more aggressive treatment options.

Stretching and strengthening exercises, like placing a towel on the floor and picking it up with your toes have been shown to help.

But if conservative treatment fail to provide relief, you may need to speak with your podiatrist about hammertoe surgery, which is the only to truly correct and stop pain associated with hammertoes.

If you are suffering from hammertoes and would like to speak to one of our physicians, please call 336-375-6990 or click here to request an appointment.

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