Are you living with a hammertoe? If the problem isn’t severe there are easy ways to manage this condition.
A hammertoe is a deformity that often impacts the middle joint of the smaller toes, causing them to curl downward. If the hammertoe isn’t properly cared for it can cause the toe to become stiff and painful. Before it gets to this point, it’s important that you are able to recognize that you have a hammertoe. Our Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, FL, podiatrists Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel can work with you to devise a treatment plan that will prevent the hammertoe from getting worse.
If you’re simply dealing with a flexible hammertoe here in Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, FL, our podiatrists may recommend:
- Special exercises that can help keep the joint of the toe flexible. It’s important that you are wiggling and moving the toes around throughout the day to keep them flexible and to improve blood flow to the areas. Try picking up small objects with your toes as practice for keeping toe joints nimble while reducing stiffness.
- Applying an ice pack to the joint, which can reduce both pain and swelling. This can be done several times a day for up to 10 minutes at a time. The ice will numb the area to reduce pain and discomfort. Just make sure to never place ice directly on the skin, as this can cause serious burns.
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as an anti-inflammatory, which can also ease stiff, painful joints. If the pain is more severe and isn’t being relieved by simple NSAIDs then you may want to talk with our Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, FL, podiatrists about more aggressive pain-relieving options such as steroid injections.
- Taping or splinting the toe to help straighten out the joint, which can also ease stiffness and pain. While splinting the toe will not correct the deformity it can keep symptoms at bay and may even prevent the deformity from getting worse.
- Wearing shoes that have a soft, cushioning insole, low heels (high heels are off-limits with a foot deformity), and that don’t scrunch up the toes can provide support for your feet when walking or standing.
If you have questions about how to best treat your hammertoe, our Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, FL, foot doctors would be happy to answer all of your questions and provide you with recommendations and treatment options that fit your needs. To schedule a consultation, call Emerald Coast Podiatry at 850-862-4119, or 850-682-6522.