Posts for: August, 2022
Discover more about this foot deformity and why it happens.
Bunions always seem to get the spotlight when talking about foot deformities; however, it’s also essential to shed light on hammertoes. This common deformity affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. When this joint is impacted, it causes the toes to bend downward. Wondering if you may be at risk for hammertoes? Here’s what you should know,
What Can Lead to a Hammertoe?
It’s important to figure out what can cause a hammertoe to develop so you can do your best to avoid certain habits or practices that could increase your risk. Some risk factors for hammertoes include,
- A family history of hammertoes
- Wearing tight or pointed shoes
- Wearing shoes that are too small
- Dealing with bunions, corns and calluses
- Injury or trauma to a toe
One of the easiest ways to avoid developing a hammertoe is to wear the proper shoes. This means avoiding shoes that are too small, which forces toes to curl under or bunch up. Wearing poorly fitted shoes can also make bunions, blisters and other foot problems more likely to occur, making developing hammertoes more likely.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hammertoe?
Those with more mild symptoms may only notice the presence of a corn or callus, and the toe will be bent down. You may notice some pain when walking or trying to move the affected toe. Those with more severe symptoms may have trouble walking or may not be able to move their toes. The affected toes will also look claw-like in nature.
How Is a Hammertoe Treated?
If you suffer from only mild hammertoe symptoms, then the number one recommendation your podiatrist may make is to change your footwear. Avoid shoes with high arms, pointed toes, or shoes that are too tight and push toes into a bunched position. You can also opt for shoe inserts and orthotics to take pressure off certain parts of your foot while walking. This can also reduce pain and discomfort while moving.
Also, talk to your podiatrist about stretching exercises you can do from the comfort of your home daily to reduce hammertoe-related symptoms. This can also help to reposition the toe over time.
If you have more severe symptoms and other treatments aren’t improving your condition, you may need surgery to help realign the toe. Surgery for hammertoes is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
Find out how to get your bunion pain under control and when to see a podiatrist.
A bunion is a painful foot deformity that warrants turning to a podiatrist to learn how to manage your pain and slow the deformity’s progression. If you suspect you might have a bunion, but you’ve never actually found out, it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to learn more. In the meantime, here’s what you should know about bunion pain and ways to manage it.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe’s joint that causes a large, bony bump to stick out at the edge of the foot at the base of the toe. The bump may become swollen, red or painful, especially when wearing certain shoes.
What Are Some Ways That I Can Manage My Symptoms?
There are ways to slow a bunion’s progress enough that you may never need surgery. If your symptoms are minor, changing your shoes will make a world of difference. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box, don’t put pressure on the bunion, and have a low heel.
Shoes should also provide proper support, and remember—shoes don’t last forever. We know it’s tough to part with them, but if your shoes are worn out, they aren’t giving your feet the stability they need.
Other ways to reduce bunion pain and take pressure off the deformed joint is to,
- Maintain a healthy weight (or lose excess weight)
- Apply a non-medicated bunion pad over the joint before wearing shoes
- Consider using custom orthotics or night splints (talk with your podiatrist first)
- Take NSAID pain relievers when necessary to ease bouts of achiness and throbbing pain
- Apply ice packs to the area or take warm soaks to ease symptoms
- Consider getting regular massages to help boost blood flow
Can I Get Rid of a Bunion?
The simple answer is “yes”. You can get rid of a bunion but only through surgery. Of course, while surgery is usually the last treatment option to consider, this doesn’t necessarily mean that surgery isn’t the right choice for you. You may be a good candidate for bunion surgery if,
- Your bunion doesn’t respond to home treatment
- Bunion pain is severe and chronic
- Your bunion affects your daily routine and quality of life
Don’t let bunion pain impact your life and daily routine. A podiatrist can map out a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and activities to help you better control your pain and get back to what you love doing.