Hammer toe treatments start with Niagara Solutions by Elio’s experts

Hammertoes are a deformity of the lesser toes in which the knuckle becomes permanently bent. The knuckle may be flexible and correctable or stiff and rigid. Hammertoes are caused by a muscle imbalance in the toes. Genetics, trauma, arthritis and wearing tight shoes can all lead to the formation of a hammertoe.

What are the symptoms of a hammer toe? Pain at the top of the knuckle, corns at the top of the knuckle or tip of the toe, redness and swelling of the entire toe, restricted or painful motion of the toe, and pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the affected toe.

How are hammertoes treated? Gel pads can help relieve pressure over the knuckle and tip of the toe. Wearing shoes with a deep, wide toe box can alleviate hammertoe irritation. Also, surgery can be performed if non-surgical treatments fail. Surgery for a hammertoe aims to correct the deformity, alleviate pain and make shoe-wear more comfortable.

Elio’s is a member of the Pedorthic Association of Canada.  Learn more about foot health from the Canadian Certified Pedorthists at Elio’s Foot Comfort Centre in Thorold.

Nida Ahmed, Chiropodist, Elio's Foot Comfort Centre

Bracing for hammer toe therapy – Patients suffering from hammer toe pain can try exercises that can be done at home to stretch and strengthen foot muscles. For example, a person can gently stretch the toes manually, or use the toes to pick things up off the floor. While watching television or reading, a person can put a towel flat under the feet and use the toes to crumple it. A family doctor can also prescribe a brace that pushes down on the toes to force them to stretch out their muscles. Ask Elio’s about bracing as part of a hammer toe therapy.

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