hammer toe

Hammer toe is a condition that causes the toes to curl downward like a claw. It usually affects the second toe but any toe may be affected. Not only does hammer toe affect the appearance of your foot, but the curvature can cause pain and discomfort when standing or walking. Preventing hammer toe requires early diagnosis, so knowing the causes, symptoms, and tips can help you identify whether or not you have hammer toe. If you are experiencing these symptoms, there are ways to treat the condition without surgery.

Tips to get rid of hammer toe pain

  1. Use over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Be careful not to take too much medicine. Long-term use can cause stomach irritation.
  2. Consider CBD
    • Studies show that CBD can help reduce pain
  3. Ice the toes for 15 minutes at a time
  4. Put on supportive socks and shoes
  5. When possible give your feet a break from shoes
  6. Stretch out your toes regularly
  7. Soak your toes in a tub of warm water with epsom salt
    • This is especially helpful at the end of the day


Hammer toe is most often caused by wearing compressive shoes. It might also be caused by the pressure from a bunion. A bunion is a corn on the top of a toe and a callus on the sole of the foot develop which makes walking painful. A high foot arch may also develop. A person may be born with hammer toe or may develop it from wearing short, narrow shoes. Hammer toe can occur in children who outgrow shoes rapidly.

Sometimes hammer toe is genetic and is caused by a nerve disorder in the foot.

High heeled shoes are can also cause hammer toe. The reason for this is that the toes are not only bunched up, but the weight of the body is pushing them forward even further.

Treatment options

The most common treatment is to wear more comfortable shoes. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe area is high and broad and has enough room for hammer toes. If there is chronic pain, surgery may be needed to correct a malalignment. Surgical treatments are aimed at loosening up the contracted toe joints to allow them to align properly.

Other types of treatment are products designed to relieve hammer toes, such as hammer toe crests and hammer toe splints. These devices will help hold down the toe and provide relief to the forefoot. Gel toe shields and gel toe caps can also be used. Gel toe shields and toe caps will help eliminate friction between the shoe and the toe, while providing comfort and lubrication.

Acupuncture an also help lessen the pain.