5 Treatments for Painful Hammertoes


Hammertoes are so named due to the bending that occurs in the toes at the middle or end joints making them take on the shape of a hammer. This condition has a hereditary component, but other factors such as arthritis, wearing improperly fitting shoes, and having flat feet can exacerbate the tendency for hammertoes to develop. Injury to your toes from stubbing or dropping something heavy on them can also be a risk factor for hammertoe development.

Diagnosis of hammertoes involves the following:

Your foot doctor will determine the severity of the muscle contractions and tendon imbalances that are contributing to the toes bending in this unnatural manner.  Imaging studies such as x-rays and MRI’s may be necessary to accurately determine the extent of the toe deformity.

5 great treatments for painful hammertoes include the following:

1)    Orthotic inserts—Custom orthotic inserts will help to correct the imbalance between the muscle and tendons that causes the bending to occur.

2)    Splints and straps—These are used usually while sleeping to realign the toes and force them into the correct position.

3)    Cushioning—Moleskin pads can be used to isolate painful corns that often develop on the tops of hammertoes.

4)    Take ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain

5)    Physical therapy exercises—Stretching and flexibility exercises for your toes like towel scrunches will help strengthen muscles and increase tendon flexibility.

If you are experiencing a painful a hammertoe problem contact your foot doctor for the proper treatment. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.