Do You Have Hammer Toe?

Closeup of barefeet woman with painful hammer toes

Having any kind of pain in your feet can affect everything you do. The good news is that if your pain is caused by hammer toe, there are some very simple treatment options available that might help.

What Is Hammer Toe?

“Hammer toe” got this name because, with this condition, the toe looks like a hammer – it is bent in the middle joint of the toe. It typically involves the second, third, or fourth toes and is caused by an imbalance of ligaments, muscles, or tendons around the toe. A mallet toe is similar to a hammer toe, except it affects the joint closest to the tip of the toe instead of the middle joint.

Symptoms of hammer toe include pain when bending the toe, pain in the ball of the foot under the hammer toe, swelling and redness in the toe, and a bend in the toe that is not typical. A hammer toe can also lead to corns or calluses because of the toe rubbing against shoes.

Hammer toe can be caused by years of wearing shoes that don’t fit properly (such as high heeled shoes that don’t have enough room in the toes), a toe injury, or toe muscles that are imbalanced and cause the toes to contract. However, you may be more at risk for hammer toe if you are older, if you are female, or if hammer toes run in your family. Another risk factor is having a second toe that is longer than the big toe.

How Is Hammer Toe Treated?

Treatments for hammer toe range from very simple things you can do at home to surgical options for very severe cases. You may find relief simply by changing your shoes, or your doctor may recommend a splint or a brace, orthotics, or physical therapy.

Foot pain can make it hard to work, exercise, and even enjoy your favorite hobbies. It is important to get the right diagnosis for your foot pain so that the right treatment can begin! For help with foot pain, contact Sports Occupational and Knee Surgery in San Antonio, TX. Call (210) 696-9000 for an appointment today!

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