At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we often find that more women are making appointments at our Long Beach office in the fall with complaints about their bunions and hammertoes. These are both deformities of the toes that can seem more painful than ever when patients switch from the open shoe styles of summer to closed toe shoes in the fall.
A bunion occurs when the big toe joint begins to move out of place and the big toe drifts toward the second toe. As the dislocation of the joint progresses, the telltale bump forms on the side of the toe. In the case of hammertoe, the second, third, or fourth toe begins to bend at the middle joint creating the hammer-like position of the toe and hence the name. Although these two conditions are different in appearance, they are both toe deformities and have several things in common.
The Shoe Factor
Bunions and hammertoes are both biomechanical problems that can be caused by an inherited tendency for the deformity, or a number of other risk factors, such as arthritis or a previous injury. Both conditions, however, can be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and narrow in the toe box. High-heeled shoes and boots can also exacerbate these conditions because they force feet forward and exert extra pressure on the toes.
What to Do
If you are experiencing increased discomfort from either a hammertoe or a bunion, make an appointment with our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas, so they can evaluate your toes and see how far the condition has progressed. The foot doctor will determine if surgery is needed to correct the problem or if you can get by at this point with conservative measures. These may include:
- Icing the toe
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Shoe modifications or a custom orthotic
- Stretching exercises or physical therapy
Don’t wait. If you are in pain, contact us today and let us help you get relief.