How to Fix Hammertoes Without Surgery

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Hammertoes, a common foot deformity, can cause discomfort and pain, affecting daily activities. Characterized by an abnormal bend in the toe's middle joint, this condition often leads to complications if left untreated. While surgery is a viable option for severe cases, many seek non-surgical remedies. This blog explores the causes of hammertoes and provides practical solutions for managing and potentially correcting them without surgery.

hammertoe treatments

Understanding the Causes of Hammertoes

  • 1. Improper Footwear:
    Tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes that force toes into a cramped position can contribute to the development of hammertoes.

  • 2. Genetic Factors:
    A predisposition to hammertoes can be inherited.

  • 3. Muscle Imbalance:
    Disproportionate muscle/tendon balance in the foot can cause the toe to bend.

  • 4. Arthritis:
    Certain types of arthritis can lead to joint deformities, including hammertoes.

  • 5. Toe Injuries:
    Trauma to the toe can result in a hammertoe.

  • 6. Age:
    The risk increases with age due to decreased muscle flexibility and strength.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

  • 1. Footwear Adjustments
    Choose Wide, Comfortable Shoes: Footwear with ample space for toes reduces pressure on the hammertoes.

    Avoid High Heels: Lower-heeled shoes help alleviate the stress on toe joints.

  • 2. Orthotic Devices
    Pads and Inserts: Over-the-counter pads can cushion and protect the hammertoe, while orthotic inserts help redistribute pressure.

    Toe Splints or Straps: These can help realign the toe and reduce discomfort.

  • 3. Toe Exercises
    Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises for toes can improve flexibility and reduce the pain.

    Grip Exercises: Picking up small objects with toes can help in maintaining dexterity.

  • 4. Physical Therapy
    Professional Guidance: A physical therapist can provide specialized exercises and treatment plans tailored to your condition, improving toe flexibility and strength.

  • 5. Massage and Manual Manipulation
    Regular Massage: Gently massaging the affected toe can improve circulation, reduce pain, and encourage flexibility.

    Manual Toe Manipulation: Carefully stretching and moving the toe can help maintain joint mobility.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

  • 1. Weight Management:
    Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pressure on your feet.

  • 2. Footwear Inserts for Arch Support:
    These can help redistribute pressure away from the toes.

  • 3. Regular Foot Care:
    Keeping your feet clean and dry prevents infections that could exacerbate hammertoe symptoms.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • 1. Persistent pain or discomfort.

  • 2. Changes in the shape or color of your toe.

  • 3. Signs of infection, such as redness, heat, or swelling.

  • 4. Loss of sensation in the affected toe.

The Best Shoes & Boots for Hammertoes


    I-Runner offers a quality selection of Medicare-certified diabetic shoes with seamless interiors as well phenomenal heat-moldable insoles. I-Runner shoes feature: Seamless Interiors, Wide & Deep Toe Box, Padded Toungue, Padded Heel, Room for Custom Insoles and Spacers.

    Apis Footwear

    Apis is renowned for its comfortable and supportive footwear. Apis shoes specializes in Extra Wide Widths while also complying to diabetic shoe standards.

    Drew Shoes

    Drew Shoes are known for their "Plus Fitting System" which feature Double Depth and include 2 Dual Density Removable insoles. Many of the Drew Shoes are waterproof to keep your feet dry and warm. Drew Shoes also include Padded Tongue, Foam Cushioned Collar, Broad Toe Box to enhance the comfort and support.


    Propet is located in Washington state and provide a wide variety of winter shoes & boots. Many of the Propet shoes & boots are made for harsh winters. Features include Waterproof, Non-Slip & insulated interiors.

    Dr Comfort

    Dr Comfort is one of the pioneers in the Diabetic Shoe space. Their shoes feature seamless interiors and exceptional comfort and support. Dr Comfort also provides seamless socks including a variety of styles including their unique Extra Roomy socks for people with large calfs. ICS Shoes recommends wearing the Dr Comfort socks with all your shoes.


    Xelero shoes “improve people’s lives” by offering an appropriate foot environment by supporting the foot structures and improving gait biomechanics during heel contact, midstance, and propulsion.


    Apex shoes feature a soft, moisture-wicking lining with non-exposed seams that helps keep feet comfortable, dry and safe from irritation, eliminating pressure on the forefoot and toes. Many of the Apex shoes are available in extended widths and extra depth.


    The primary focus of the OrthoFeet brand is to offer the ultimate comfortable and functional shoes and orthotic insoles. By combining athletic footwear technology and therapeutic detailing, OrthoFeet footwear offer shoes with seamless interiors with the highest level of comfort and protection for sensitive feet.

Hammertoes can be a source of significant discomfort, but understanding their causes and exploring non-surgical treatments can offer relief. By combining proper footwear, exercises, orthotic devices, and lifestyle changes, many individuals can manage their symptoms effectively. Remember, the earlier you address the symptoms of hammertoes, the more successful non-surgical treatments are likely to be. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, the right footwear can make all the difference in aleviating foot pain.

Personal Fitting Specialists
ICS Shoe Personal Fitting Specialists can help you find the Perfect Fitting waterproof shoes & boots to eliminate pain and discomfort. Taking care of your feet every day starts with the perfect fitting shoe.

Let us help you find just the right shoe for your lifestyle. Contact Your Personal Fitting Specialist Today - Your Feet Will Thank You! (877) 553-5544 or Contact Us by eMail.

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