Shoe shopping is a challenge when you have a hammertoe. If shoes aren't roomy enough to accommodate your bent toe, every step is agony. Dr. Yong Chae, your foot doctor in Indianapolis at Active Podiatry, is here to explain how hammertoes develop and what you can do to ease the pain of this common foot condition.
What is a hammertoe?
You'll notice that your toe bends at a right angle at the first joint if you have a hammertoe. Hammertoes usually affect the second, third or fourth toes.
What causes a hammertoe?
Hammertoes can occur if you wear shoes that are too short and tight. The problem develops when your toe is forced into a bent position. When this happens, the muscles and tendons tighten and become shorter. You may also experience the problem if you have an a toe injury, arthritis or a muscle imbalance, which is inherited in some families.
What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?
Fitting your bent toe in shoes can be painful. As the bent area of your toe rubs against the top of your shoe, corns and calluses can form. You may also notice redness and swelling around the joint or pain in the ball of your foot under the toe.
What can I do about hammertoe?
Make comfort a priority by choosing shoes that are roomy enough to fit your hammertoe. Put cushions or corn pads on the joint to protect it. If the joint is still flexible, your podiatrist may suggest toe exercises. These exercises help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your toe. Your foot doctor may also recommend that you wear orthotic inserts in your shoes to improve support. If your toe is rigid, surgery is the only option that will straighten your toe.
Are you tired of living with a hammertoe? Call Dr. Chae, your Indianapolis foot doctor at Active Podiatry at (317) 328-6622 and schedule an appointment today, or use our contact form. Don't let hammertoe pain keep you off your feet!