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Is there a way to treat my child’s hammertoes at home?

Yes! Children often suffer painful hammertoes as a result of wearing shoes they’ve outgrown. Shoes that are too tight cause the feet to “bunch up” inside the shoes, and eventually the tendons in the toes remain contracted even when shoes are not worn. 

Mild cases of hammertoe often can be remedied in a number of ways, including:

  • Splinting. The toe is straightened and splinted to prevent recurrence; however, it is best to seek a Philadelphia podiatrist’s advice to see if this will be effective. 
  • Insoles, pads, and inserts. These products can help cushion the feet, hold the toes in more comfortable alignment, and/or relieve pressure while wearing shoes. Some can also prevent the joint of the bent toe from rubbing on the inside of the shoe.
  • Exercises. If your child is able to move the affected toe without pain, encourage him to do exercises that will flex and stretch his toes, such as using his toes to crumple up a towel, or picking up a pencil or marbles from the floor with his toes. 
  • New shoes. Children go through growth spurts constantly, so it’s important to make sure they are wearing the correct size shoe. Choose shoes with wide toe boxes, and avoid higher heels (which place more weight and pressure on the toes).

It’s important that you take steps to correct this condition as soon as possible. While hammertoes are a correctable condition, they can easily lead to other, more serious problems—including foot deformities and joint problems—if left untreated.

The experienced Philadelphia-area foot specialists at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates can help you get your child’s feet back in good health again. Call us at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up your consultation.