The pain of Hammer Toe can be excruciating to the point that even putting on a shoe causes pain.
Hammer toe is a foot deformity which can result from imbalances in the ligaments, tendons and/or muscles, which typically hold the toe straight. Your shoes, the structure of your foot, certain diseases, and trauma can contribute to the development of hammer toe, which causes the middle joint of a toe to have an abnormal bend. Hammer toe usually occurs in the second, third and fourth toes. Hammer toes don’t point forward as they should, rather they curl downward. While a hammer toe is, occasionally, present at birth, it is more likely to develop over time. A hammer toe can be extremely painful, making it difficult for you to walk.
Causes and Symptoms of Hammer toe
The most likely causes of hammer toe include the following:
- A very high foot arch
- Tendons and ligaments in the foot which have tightened
- A traumatic injury to the toe
- Improperly fitting shoes
- Bunion pressure
- A family history of hammertoe
- Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage which can cause all toes to curl downward
Milder symptoms of hammer toe include the inability to wiggle your toes or flex your foot, difficulty walking, corns and/or calluses, and a toe that bends downward. In the early stages, your pain may be relatively mild. In more severe cases of hammer toe, you may feel moderate to severe pain at the top of the bent toe, particularly when putting on a shoe. You may also experience swelling and an angry red color in the affected toe, difficulty moving the toe joint and pain on the ball of the foot, under the affected toe.
Diagnosing and Treating Hammer Toe
A hammer toe is generally diagnosed visually, however if you had a ligament, muscle or bone injury to your toe, x-rays may be necessary. The pain from a mild case of hammer toe can often be alleviated by wearing properly fitted shoes, or, if a high arch is the problem, toe pads and arch supports may be helpful. Gently stretching the toe can sometimes help relieve the pain of hammer toe, repositioning the affected toe.
Our goal, at Seattle Pain, is to get you back to your life, while helping you avoid surgery when possible. The interventional pain management specialists at Seattle Pain may use one or more of the following traditional or non-traditional treatments for your hammer toe pain after evaluating your condition:
- Prescription non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Are you struggling to find relief from your hammer toe pain?
Contact Our Pain Management Specialists
Hammer toe pain is excruciating and can significantly impact your mobility. If you are struggling to find pain relief from your hammer toe, Seattle Pain can help relieve your pain, and significantly improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.