How to Get Rid of Hammer Toe
Proper Shoes and Splints Can Get Rid of Hammer Toes Without Surgery
Hammer toe is a condition in which the toes contract and curl unnaturally, causing a deformity to the foot that can be quite painful.
Vanity plays a role in helping hammer toes develop, since years of wearing poorly fitting shoes worn more for appearance than comfort are among one of the main causes of this condition. Genetics, arthritis and aging are also influencing factors in having hammer toes develop.
Symptoms of hammer toes include rigidity, calluses, corns and blisters developing on the top of the toe, cramping and weakness. Hammer toes will only get worse with no treatment, so there’s no time like the present to get rid of hammer toes.
Go Shoe Shopping
Wearing too narrow shoes with no room for the toes to move is a major contributing factor to hammer toes. So toss those ill-fitting designer high heels and go shopping for flats or shoes with a low heel that have a wide width and give your toes and foot room to breathe. Wearing high heels once hammer toes have developed cause your toes to painfully smash up against the shoe. Opt for shoes with rounded rather than pointed toes and take a pass on any pair of shoes that feels even mildly tight.
Do Foot Exercises
At least once a day, remove your shoes to give your feet some exercise, wiggling your toes, then curling them under and flexing them in the opposite direction. Place several marbles or pencils on the floor and attempt to pick them up between your toes. At night and weekends in your own home, walk around barefoot to help the tendons of the feet which are contracting the toes to stretch out.
Apply a Splint
Many hammer toes respond to a device called a toe straightener or hammer toe splint. Place the affected toe or toes into the splint, which will help retrain the toes back into proper shape. Foot orthotics, devices placed inside your regular pair of shoes, can often help to reposition feet affected by hammer toes.
The pain and swelling that sometimes accompanies hammer toes can be eliminated by soaking your feet in warm water first, then cold water for 15-20 minutes, several times a day.
The most severe cases of hammer toe can only be corrected using surgery. This involves an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia so that the tendons and bone deformity can be reshaped via small incisions. Post-surgery, minimal pain medication is required, along with wearing special shoes until the foot completely heals.