Hammertoes and Bunions
Hammertoes and bunions are among the most common foot deformities out there. The pain caused by these deformities can range from very mild to severe. They can both be corrected by surgery, and there are plenty of conservative treatments for the milder cases.
Hammertoe is a bending deformity of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop. They are usually caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance. They start out mild and flexible, but if not treated they can become rigid and will not respond to nonsurgical treatment.
Conservative Options for Hammertoe Correction and Pain Relief
Of of the conservative treatments for hammertoes is a crest pad. When placed correctly, this can help straighten and support the affected toes, and keep them from developing pressure sores at the ends. If only one toe is affected, you can also try a single toe crutch.
Another conservative option for pain relief is a silicone sleeve. These sleeves can help protect the first toe joint from any discomfort caused by friction on the shoe.
The last thing to keep in mind for hammertoes is to always wear a good shoe with a lycra or mesh upper. Having a little extra space in this portion of the shoe can be a real relief to toes prone to blistering or irritation.
Bunions and Bunionettes
Bunions and bunionettes (or a Tailor's Bunion) can be caused by a few things, including an inherited structural defect, stress on your foot or a medical condition, such as arthritis. They can also be caused or exacerbated by wearing tight, narrow shoes. The pain from them can vary from mild to severe. For most mild cases, surgery is not recommended. Instead, we suggest trying a conservative treatment first to keep the deformity from growing more and to minimize any discomfort.
Conservative Options for Bunion Correction and Pain Relief
There are a few different options for splinting a bunion that also provide some relief for mild discomfort. The first is a bunion splint that you wear primarily at night to help stretch the ligaments in your feet comfortably and painlessly.
If you find yourself needing something minimalist in design, you can also try splinting with a silicone toe spacer. These can come with or without a shield for the bunion, depending on preference.
For bunionettes, there are silicone spacers and shields, just like there are for a standard bunion. If you suffer from both bunions and bunionettes, there are forefoot sleeves made to cushion and protect both sides of the foot.
For bunions, as with hammertoes, it is important to wear a shoe with plenty of space in the toe box, or a comfortable mesh or Lycra upper. These conditions can be caused or exacerbated by constrictive, tight shoes.