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Hammertoe is something that millions of people experience in their lives. However, even though this is a common affliction, that doesn’t make it any easier to live with hammertoe. Learn more about hammertoe and the available treatment options.
What is Hammer Toe?
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs in one or more toes. The condition most often develops over time, but in certain cases, a person can be born with hammertoe. The condition known as hammertoe is caused by an imbalance in the ligaments, tendons or muscles that keep the toe in place and aligned with the other toes. If you suspect you may have a hammertoe, you should visit your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX for a professional diagnosis.
What Does Hammertoe Look Like?
Hammertoe is visible to the naked eye. In this condition, the hammertoe has a permanent bend in the toe. Although the toe does have natural joints where bends occur, the hammertoe’s bend is abnormal compared to the rest of the toes. Hammertoes typically occur in the second, third or fourth toes, although technically a hammertoe can occur in any toe. Usually, the bend is upward, which makes wearing shoes very uncomfortable for someone with hammertoe.
What Symptoms Come With Hammer Toe?
Hammertoe is often very painful, especially during and after wearing shoes. Often, the uppermost part of the bend rubs against the inner surface of the shoe, causing abrasion and distress. Apart from footwear, hammertoe can feel generally uncomfortable. There may be pain in the toe upon walking, running or navigating stairs. The pain may run the gamut from mildly uncomfortable to excruciating. Moving the hammertoe often increases the pain. To make matters worse, the friction of footwear can cause sores on the surface of the skin on the hammertoe, adding to the pain and discomfort of this condition. Your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX can recommend some treatment options if you are diagnosed with hammertoe.
How to Relieve the Pain From Hammertoe
There are some things you can do to temporarily relieve the pain from hammertoe until you are able to make an appointment for a podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX. The first thing you should do is to avoid footwear that exacerbates the hammertoe problem. If you have certain shoes that are exceptionally painful to wear because of the hammertoe, you should not wear them at all.
Another thing you can do to keep your hammertoe from hurting is to wear shoe inserts. These inserts may shift the weight on your feet so the hammertoe is not having so much friction as before.
Finally, sometimes people who have hammertoes cover the top part of the bend with a bandage so that the top area is protected against friction. This sometimes enables a person to get through an evening of wearing footwear over a hammertoe.
Unfortunately, all of these remedies provide only temporary relief from hammertoe pain and discomfort. For permanent help with your hammertoe, you’ll need to visit your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX.
What Causes Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is often caused by repeatedly wearing ill-fitting footwear. Shoes that push the foot forward and put a lot of weight on the front part of the foot can eventually lead to hammertoe. In particular, the habit of wearing high heels often leads to the development of hammertoe. If you have shoes that are too tight, this can also cause hammertoe over time. Basically, any shoe that forces your toes into an unnatural curled position is not good for your feet and may cause hammertoe.
Hammertoe can also be caused by trauma. Sometimes if a person is in an accident or stubs their toe particularly hard, or breaks their toe, a hammertoe may develop. In the case of breaking a toe, if the bone does not heal properly, this is what could cause hammertoe.
If there is something wrong with the muscles, tendons or ligaments in your foot, this can also lead to hammertoe.
Your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX may be able to tell you what might have led to your having hammertoe, based on your personal circumstances and lifestyle.
How is Hammertoe Treated?
Your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX can treat your hammertoe condition or help you to make your hammertoe better. Treatment options include:
- stop wearing shoes that force the toes to curl
- wearing special shoe inserts
- taping or splinting the hammertoe for a period of time
- performing certain exercises as recommended by your podiatrist
- taking certain over the counter medicines for pain
- surgery for serious cases of hammertoe
The very best thing you can do if you think you have hammertoe is to consult with your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX. Make an appointment today so you can get relief from this painful condition.
Austin TX8015 Shoal Creek Blvd Suite 119
Austin, TX 78757
Phone: (512) 451-3668
Pflugerville TX200 N Heatherwilde Blvd
Pflugerville, TX 78660
Phone: (512) 451-3668