How to Treat Hammertoes


A hammertoe deformity is named so because it causes your middle toes to bend in the shape of a hammer, often causing the top of the bend to rub against your footwear creating painful corns and blisters.

Hammertoes result from an imbalance between tendons and small muscles that normally hold the toe in the correct position. This is often an inherited condition and is exacerbated by tight- fitting shoes or shoes that don’t have proper arch support.

Hammertoes continue to worsen over time, so it is important to visit your foot doctor for treatment.

Some of the conservative treatments for hammertoes include the following:

●     Properly fitted shoes—Choose shoes with a roomy toe box to help relieve the pressure that is contributing to the bending.

●     Medicine—Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and steroid treatments can reduce pain and swelling.

●     Stretching and flexing exercises— Increase strength and flexibility with a variety of helpful exercises.

●     Orthotic insertsCustom-made shoe inserts can control the imbalance between the muscle and tendon that is causing the toe to bend.

●     Pads—Specially-made pads for corns and calluses eliminate the source of rubbing.

Painful and rigid hammertoes will require surgery to straighten them out. If you need help treating painful hammertoes contact your podiatrist for the right care. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, Gregory Cook, DPM, and Huy L. Nguyen, DPM provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.