Hammer Toes – Treatments, Causes & Simple Home Solutions

Other than surgery, the only effective hammer toes treatment is to find the cause and address it. In some cases, the deformity is too severe to be corrected without surgery. So, at the first sign of redness on the top of your toe, in the area around the joint, consult a podiatrist. Here’s a look at what he or she may suggest.

Toe Exercises

Weak tendons, ligaments or muscles contribute to the problem. Exercises can be used to strengthen all of them.

Stretching out the tendons in the top of the foot reduces the amount of “pull” they put on the toes. Tight tendons are among the many causes and contributing factors.

The tendons are like springs, but sometimes the spring-action is tighter than it should be. This causes the toe to pull in towards the ball of the foot.

Exercises that may improve the spring-action include picking up small items with your toes and crumpling newspaper by pulling them towards the ball of the feet. As the tendons relax, the toe may start to straighten out.

Arch Support

Arch supports are an effective hammer toes treatment, when flat feet are causing the problem. Some people are born with little or no arch. When they are young, it doesn’t always cause pain or other problems. But, as they get older, they often start to notice pain in the ball of the foot.

When a person’s feet are flat, there is an imbalance in the amount of tension placed on the upper and lower tendons. Over a period of many years, the upper tendon can eventually pull the toe inward, causing the joint to move upward.

A special shoe for people with high arches is another hammer toes treatment. If you don’t know the condition of your arch, you can stand in wet sand and note whether the arch looks normal, too flat or too high.

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics can be ordered by your doctor or you can order them online. A mold of the bottom of the foot is taken and insoles are crafted that exactly match the shape of the bottom of your foot.

This is a solution when suppination or pronation is a problem. If that is the case, the heel leans either outward or inward. Either one can be a problem.

Although a custom orthotic may be an effective hammer toes treatment, they must be worn with well-designed, comfortable shoes. One more option is available.

Hammertoe Straighteners

A hammertoe straightener is a special pad and strap device that pulls the toe straight. It is small enough to be worn with most kinds of shoes.

A straightener reduces the friction on the top of the toe and takes the pressure off of the ball of the foot. So, pain in both areas is reduced or completely relieved.

Eventually, a straightener combined with exercise may allow the toe to become straight again. So, surgery can be avoided.

An in-home hammer toes treatment may be effective, if you are consistent. But, it is important to consult your physician, as it could be a symptom of another more serious ailment.