Resolving a serious case of hammertoe can be a profoundly difficult task, even if you’re working with a board-certified Pennsylvania podiatrist. In general, the longer and harsher the insult to the muscles and ligaments of the toe, the more painful the healing process will be. Other factors that can influence the amount of pain you’ll experience include your general level of health and fitness; the existence (or absence) of confounding health problems, such as immune diseases or obesity; and your own personal, subjective pain threshold.

Two ways to think of pain: short-term and long-term

Human beings have a peculiar relationship with the phenomenon of pain. Specifically, we ardently work to avoid acute sources of pain—if you break your leg or get shot, you’ll immediately seek help. On the other hand, we often tolerate chronic pain that, if aggregated, would be more unbearable than any single acute type of pain imaginable.

For instance, say you "summed up" all the agony caused by an untreated hammertoe over a six-month period of time, and you compared that “total pain” with the total pain of a gunshot wound or broken leg. Odds are, the subtle chronic hammertoe pain would probably be greater in magnitude.

Resolving the agony for good

Multiple steps can be taken to eliminate or at least reduce the agony. For instance, you can improve your footwear—the toe boxes on women’s high heels are notorious for cramping the toes and awkwardly contorting the muscles and ligaments.

You can also manage your blood sugar and inflammation issues better. Diabetes and other similar diseases have a clear and clinical impact on foot health: treatment of diabetic neuropathy can be critical to pain relief.

Get an integrated diagnosis to rule out other possible problems. If you suffer from blood clotting problems, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or other similar conditions, you may need to treat those underlying conditions to resolve the pain.

Don’t diagnose yourself. Get effective and experienced help with your foot pain

The team here at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates consists of three full-time board-certified Philadelphia-area podiatrists. We can explain what to do—and what not to do—to help you get better and manage issues associated with your hammertoe. Call us now at 610-565-3668.