Are You Dealing with Hammertoe?
Find out how hammertoes occur and what you can do to prevent it from getting worse.
A hammertoe is a foot deformity that causes the joint in the smaller toes to bend downward. This is often the result of a muscle imbalance within the feet. Since the toes are bent they are also more likely to rub against shoes and develop calluses. So, how do you know if you have a hammertoe, and when should you visit your Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Agricola for an evaluation?
Do I have a hammertoe?
If you notice that the small toes bend downward at the middle joint then chances are good that you are dealing with a hammertoe. There are two types: a flexible hammertoe and a rigid hammertoe. As you might be able to guess from the names alone, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can straighten it out.
A rigid hammertoe is permanently deformed and cannot be straightened out. In the case of a rigid hammertoe, the only way to fix this issue is by getting surgery to repair the damaged joint.
I have a hammertoe. Now what?
So, our Carmel and Indianapolis foot doctor just told you that you have a hammertoe. The next step is to prevent the issue from getting worse. Many people develop hammertoes but never develop pain or other issues as a result. Common ways to treat a hammertoe include,
Wearing appropriate footwear: This is the most important piece of advice to follow if you want to prevent hammertoes or keep your hammertoe from getting worse. If you want to avoid surgery to correct the hammertoe then you’ll want to wear shoes that give your toes enough room so they aren’t bunched up. Also, make sure that the shoes you wear have ample arch support.
Stretching and strengthening exercises: That’s right! You can do foot exercises every day to help strengthen the muscles of the toes. Our podiatrist would be happy to show you a couple of exercises you can do throughout the day to prevent the toe’s contracture from getting worse.
Wear protective padding: Before putting on shoes it’s not a bad idea to apply a protective pad to the hammertoe to prevent it from rubbing against your shoes and developing a painful corn or callus.
If you think you might be dealing with a hammertoe but you aren’t sure turn to Dr. Jeffrey Agricola at Prestige Podiatry in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN for a diagnosis. Call our office today to find out how we can help treat your hammertoe.