Hammertoes are most commonly found in women, and are often easily prevented simply by shoe choice. If you're familiar with Soft Star's footwear philosophy then you Bunion Pain probably already know we're not fans of shoes that place form over function. Hammertoe is defined as a flexion deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joint. NSAIDs reduce pain and disability in people with plantar fasciitis when used with other techniques, such as night splints and stretching. An injection of a steroid plus a local anesthetic (such as Xylocaine) may provide relief in severe cases of plantar fasciitis. When combined with exercises that stretch the arch and heel cord, over-the-counter insoles may offer the same relief as prescribed orthotics. One device, for example, uses an Ace bandage and an L-shaped fiberglass splint to keep the foot stretched while the patient is sleeping. Although patient compliance may be better with custom-made prescribed orthotics than with tension night splints, it is believed that they are equally effective in improving pain. A typical surgery is called instep plantar fasciotomy. More research is needed on this treatment. If your hammertoe problem is diagnosed as flexible hammertoe, there are a number of nonsurgical treatments that may be able to straighten out your toe or toes and return them to their proper alignment. Your physician may pad the boney top-part of your hammertoe as a means of relieving pain, and may tape your toes as a way to change their position, correct the muscle imbalance and relieve the pressure that led to the hammertoe's development. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help deal with inflammation, swelling and pain caused by your hammertoe. If your hammertoe is a consequence of arthritis, your physician may prescribe medications for that. Orthotics are shoe inserts that can help correct mechanical foot-motion problems to correct pressure on your toe or toes and reduce pain. For example, a hammertoe may develop if a toe is too long and is forced into a cramped position when a tight shoe is worn. Occasionally, hammertoe is caused by some kind of trauma, such as a previously broken toe. There are a variety of treatment options for hammertoe. The treatment your podiatric foot and ankle surgeon selects will depend upon the severity of your hammertoe and other factors. Your podiatric surgeon can provide or prescribe pads designed to shield corns from irritation. Medicated pads are generally not recommended because they may contain a small amount of acid that can be harmful. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short, or shoes with high heels—conditions that can force your toe against the front of the shoe. This can affect any number of the lesser toes. Over time, your toe tendons adjust to this positioning, causing your toe or toes to hold a hammered shape. Heel elevation in footwear is also problematic, as it causes your toes to be pushed into the shoe's toe box. A common example of this is when your Achilles tendon—the tendon at the back of your leg that attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone—is too tight, causing the tendons on the top of your foot that attach to your toes to work too hard and hold your toes in an unnatural, elevated position. Conservative care strategies for this health purpose may also involve the use of Correct Toes , our toe straightening and toe spacing device. Surgery for hammertoes is performed to help straighten your crooked toe. Foot muscles work in pairs to straighten and bend the toes. These deformities occur very often in woman who wear high heel and/or narrow shoes on a regular basis. These conditions occur most often in the toe next to your big toe. They can be differed by the area they affect; mallet the joint near the toenail, hammer in the middle joint of the toe. If you think you may have these issues or any pain in your foot, contact your podiatrist ! When unusual stress is applied over a period of years, the joints and tendons of your foot can cease to function in a balanced manner and toes, in an effort to compensate, can begin to bend into the hammertoe shape. Hammertoe is caused when muscles fail to work in a balanced manner and the toe joints bend to form the hammertoe shape. The toe no longer rubs and is pain-free. Hammertoes often start out flexible and become rigid over time as your toe becomes accustomed to its crooked position. Flexible hammertoes are named as such because your affected toe still possesses some degree of movement. Tendons in your rigid hammertoe have become tight, and your joints may be misaligned and immobile. Rigid hammertoes may require surgery to help correct if more conservative strategies fail to resolve your problem. Shoes that are too small force your toes into a curled position. Heel elevation additionally contributes to muscle imbalance.