6 Treatments for Painful Hammertoes


While the toe deformity called hammertoe is primarily a genetic phenomenon, the condition is often exacerbated by improperly or tightly fitted shoes. In fact, women who wear high heels are much more susceptible to developing hammertoes and other toe and foot problems.  

Hammertoes may not be painful in the beginning, so they are often ignored until the problem worsens. At that point, they become more rigid and harder to treat without surgery. Imaging studies, like MRI or x-rays, can be used to more accurately determine the extent of the toe deformity and the range of possible treatments. 

6 methods for treating painful hammertoes include the following:

  1. Custom orthotic insertsYour foot doctor can prescribe orthotics that are used to control the imbalance between the muscle and tendon in the earlier stages of hammertoe development

  2. Toe splints—A specially designed splint can be worn that will help pull the toes into the proper alignment

  3. Insulating pads—Insulating pads can be used with corns to prevent rubbing and infection

  4. Medications—Pain, and swelling can be alleviated with medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen

  5. Physical therapy—A variety of toe stretching and flexibility exercises will help strengthen and limber the toes and feet

  6. Surgery—For hammertoes that are rigid and badly bent, surgery will be needed to straighten them out.

If you are experiencing painful hammertoes, see your podiatrist for the proper treatment. At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Elliott M. Perel treats a variety of conditions including diabetic foot problems, bunions, nail fungus, arthritis, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies including shockwave therapy, MLS Laser treatment, and computerized gait analysis, Monroe Foot & Ankle Care provides specialized, high-quality service for patients across central New Jersey, including Monroe Township. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact our Monroe Township/Jamesburg office at (732) 521-2155.