Hello, my name is Gregory. When I was a young lad, I had to enter the health care world in an unexpected way. I developed a serious disease out of the blue that took doctors by surprise. I went through so many different testing procedures before my doctors could diagnose the rare disease. Everyone around me reeled as they tried to understand the purpose and process of the diagnostic tests. I hope to help others understand these important tests better through this website. Please come by often to learn all you need to know about medical diagnostics and working closely with health care professionals.
Visiting your dentist for a toothache, seeing an optometrist for vision correction, and allowing your primary care physician to treat different illnesses are all essential for your underlying health. Since your feet are imperative for walking and standing, ensuring they are healthy is also necessary for your lifestyle.
Caused by arthritis, an injury that has damaged the foot, or shoes that fit improperly, hammertoe is a painful condition that most commonly affects the second and third toes of the foot. Hammertoe does cause discomfort and deformity of the foot, but you do not need to suffer with this condition. Using this guide, you will be able to understand, prevent, and treat a hammertoe.
In most cases, pain and discomfort will be the first sign of hammertoe. You may experience joint discomfort on the top of your toes, especially when putting on your shoe. The pain may radiate through your entire foot when moving or bending your toes, as well.
Inflammation, redness, and swelling may also occur around the toes, causing stiffness and decreasing your ability to move your foot and toes. This stiffness causes the toes to appear deformed.
The development of corns and calluses in between, on top, under the toes, and on the ball of the foot is also common. This buildup of skin stems from the friction between the foot and a tight-fitting shoe.
The best way to prevent hammertoe is to wear shoes that fit properly. Do not try to squeeze your feet into shoes that are a smaller size. Squeezing your feet and pushing your toes into smaller sized shoes will cause the tendons to tighten and your toes to bend and curl up abnormally.
When shopping for shoes, make sure specialists measure your feet to ensure you make purchases in the correct size. Do not focus solely on the actual shoe size, since different brands and manufacturers fit differently. When trying on the shoes, make sure you have at least ½-inch space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe.
Bring a pair of socks with you to wear when trying on shoes. This will allow you to buy shoes that will fit even when wearing with socks. Since your feet swell during the day, shop for and try on shoes in the afternoon when the swelling has already occurred.
Exercising your toes is also a great way to prevent hammertoe. Consider stretching, extending, and curling out your toes for a few minutes. Hold these stretches for a few minutes at a time before repeating multiple times a day. These stretches will ease tense tendons and ligaments in your foot and toes, reducing the risk of developing a hammertoe.
Relieving the discomfort of a minor hammertoe will first require a footwear change. Buy larger shoes and cover any corns and calluses with protective padding to reduce irritation. In addition, take a mild pain reliever to decrease discomfort.
Hammertoes that have caused deformity and mobility issues will most likely require surgical treatment, so consulting a podiatrist is smart.
The method of surgical correction will depend on your specific hammertoe. If your hammertoe is flexible, surgeons will conduct a tendon transfer procedure, which reroutes the tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top. This pulls the joints back into a normal position.
If your hammertoe is fixed or stiff, your surgeon will need to cut and straighten the ligaments and tendons of the toes. Removing the end section of the toe's bone is also necessary to allow the toe to straighten completely.
The discomfort and stiffness of a hammertoe can wreak havoc on your lifestyle, but prevention and treatment is possible. Using this guide, you will understand how to prevent or treat this common condition of the foot.
For more information and help, visit a podiatry clinic in your area, like Advanced Foot Clinic.