Bunions that are really severe may result in the development of hammertoes. Here are things you can do to treat the symptoms of hammertoes, reduce pain, and hopefully keep them from getting worse:
1. Only wear shoes that are low-heeled and have a wide toe box.
2. Avoid any socks or stockings that are too constrictive.
3. Exercise the muscles in your toes with simple exercises such as picking up marbles with your toes.
4. Wear pads and cushions to relieve pressure when wearing shoes.
5. Control calluses with a callus removal product or a high quality foot repair cream.
6. Wear a toe straightener or splint to encourage the toe to lie straight. For an inexpensive product designed for this purpose, click here.
Here’s a great list of exercises to help strengthen and straighten your toes. These toe exercises for hammer toes, bunions, toe cramps, and other foot problems may really make a difference for you if you do them regularly.
One issue that cannot be emphasized enough is the importance of wearing the best shoes for this foot problem. Shoes such as these Women’s Stretchies Margaret Mary Janes by FootSmart are a good example of shoes that accommodate hammertoes and bunions. Also, check the links on the side of this page or on Bunion Shoes for walking shoes, sandals, pumps, running shoes, casual shoes, and even boots for foot problems. All the footwear featured have lots of room in the toe area and are very supportive.
Like bunions, if left untreated hammer toes will only get worse, not better. Take measures such as the ones above to reduce your discomfort and promote healing. If these non-invasive measures do not help, talk to your podiatrist about hammertoe surgery to correct your hammertoes.
If you have hammer toes or toes that underlap, try these simple Toe Loops and see if they help you.
Made of latex-free fabrifoam, these toe loops hold two or more toes together and work to straighten the toes.
These toe loops are washable, and are available in wide or narrow.
Many reviewers are satisfied with much these loops helped their under lapping toes and reduced the pain and discomfort they had when wearing shoes.
Another product you can try is this PediFix Visco-GEL Hammer Toe Cushion for pain relief. Most of the reviews for this foot care product are very positive.
Development of Hammertoes, also known as Claw Toes
Bunions that are really severe may result in the development of hammertoes.
If the abnormal bone growth around the big toe joint is really large, then the big toe will do more than just lean towards the other toes; the alignment will be so deviated that the big toe will underlap, (or less often, overlap), the adjacent toe.
As the big toe underlaps the adjacent one, it forces a partial or complete dislocation of the joint closest to the forefoot of the second toe, which then results in the observable “buckling” of this second toe.
This deformity is called “hammertoes. “The term “hammertoe” came from the fact that the appearance of the buckled toe resembles the claw portion of a hammer, as you can see from the graphic above. Thus, the term “claw toes” is also used for this foot condition.
It should be noted here that although bunions are a major cause of hammer toes, hammer toes can also stem from other hereditary factors such as flat feet or high arched feet.
In other words, the development of hammertoes is not always tied to the presence of a bunion. Also, while the second toe is the one most often having this deformity, the other toes may be affected, as well.
Besides leading to foot pain when wearing shoes, other unpleasant side effects of a hammertoe are the development of corns and calluses on top of the toe and also under the ball of the foot that is affected.
If you have inherited a tendency to develop hammer toes, then the same advice regarding shoes applies to you as it does to people who are at risk for developing bunions: only wear comfortable shoes that give your toes plenty of room.