Treatment options for hammertoe include wearing appropriate footwear, performing exercises to strengthen and stretch toe muscles, and surgery, explains Mayo Clinic. Medication and cortisone injections are also treatment options, according to WebMD.
If the toe is flexible, a doctor may suggest putting on more comfortable, roomier footwear and wearing orthopedic shoe pads or inserts. The pads or inserts can help to reposition the toe as well as relieve pain and pressure. A doctor may also suggest exercises such as picking up a thin towel or marbles off the floor with the toes to stretch and strengthen the toe muscles. Surgery can release the tendons that prevent the toe from lying flat, notes Mayo Clinic.
Medicine that reduces inflammation can help ease swelling and pain. In some cases, a doctor uses cortisone injections for acute pain relief, reports WebMD.