Hammertoe is treated by wearing appropriate footwear, custom inserts and metatarsal pads and doing foot exercises, as well as taking anti-inflammatory drugs, according to WebMD. Surgery may be recommended if other methods do not work to correct the condition.
Choosing the right footwear is important when suffering from hammertoe, reports WebMD. Shoes should fit well and have a wide toe box with heels that are less than 2 inches in height. Padding around the bony point of the toe can also help. The appropriate shoes should be worn for whatever activity is being undertaken. The application of ice packs to the hammertoe can reduce swelling, while gentle massage of the toe can reduce pain.
Exercises aimed at stretching the affected area may also help reposition the joint affected. These exercises equally help in strengthening of the toes. Picking small items from the floor using the toes can be a good way to exercise, notes Mayo Clinic.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the swelling associated with hammertoe, according to WebMD. Cortisone injections can provide relief for acute hammertoe pain.
Specially made custom inserts that slip inside the shoe can also be obtained from an orthotist or podiatrist, advises WebMD. There are also over-the-counter metatarsal pads that may be purchased and placed into the shoes for alleviation of hammertoe symptoms. Foot exercise that help to restore muscle balance may help, and in the early stages of hammertoe, splinting can provide pain relief.
Unresolved issues with hammertoes may require surgery, notes WebMD. Surgery may require removing a small piece of bone and realigning the toe joint.