Discover the Secrets to Fixing Hammer Toe Without Surgery

Do you suffer from the discomfort and embarrassment of a hammer toe, where your toe bends abnormally downward at the middle joint? If so, you’re not alone: it’s a common ailment that can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty wearing shoes. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this condition without resorting to surgery. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various nonsurgical remedies that can help you regain healthy and comfortable feet.

How to treat hammer toes without surgery | Benjamin Marble DPM - YouTube

What is a Hammer Toe?

A hammer toe is a deformity that affects the toe, causing it to bend downward at the middle joint. This abnormal bending can result from various factors, including ill-fitting shoes, heredity, or nerve damage. As the toe bends, it can rub against the shoe, leading to pain, blisters, and corns. In severe cases, a hammer toe may even become dislocated.

If you suspect you have a hammer toe, it’s essential to seek professional diagnosis and advice. A medical professional can determine the severity of your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

Nonsurgical Hammer Toe Fixes

While surgery can effectively correct hammer toe, it’s not always the best option. For those who prefer to avoid surgery or who are not suitable candidates, there are several nonsurgical methods to improve the alignment and reduce discomfort. These include:

Footwear Modifications

One of the simplest and most effective ways to address a hammer toe is to wear shoes with a wide toe box. This allows the toes to spread out naturally, reducing pressure on the affected toe. Avoid shoes with high heels or pointed toes, as they can exacerbate the condition. Custom-made orthotics can also be beneficial by providing additional support and cushioning.

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Stretching Exercises

Regular stretching can help improve toe flexibility and reduce the severity of a hammer toe. Some effective exercises include:

Toe Raises:

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your toes up towards your shins, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

Towel Stretches:

Place a towel on the floor and sit facing it. Grab the ends of the towel with your toes and pull it towards you. Hold for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

Toe Spreads:

Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Place a rubber band around the balls of your feet. Spread your toes apart against the resistance of the band. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

Splinting and Taping

Splints or toe spacers can be used to reposition the toe and prevent it from bending. Taping the toes together can also provide support and prevent them from rubbing against each other. Consult a medical professional for guidance on how to properly apply splints or tape.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can provide targeted exercises and treatments to improve the range of motion in your toe and reduce pain. They may use a combination of techniques such as massage, ultrasound therapy, and electrical stimulation.


Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce discomfort. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications to manage pain or inflammation.

How To Fix Hammer Toe Without Surgery

Alternative Therapies

Acupuncture and reflexology are alternative therapies that some people claim can relieve pain and improve toe alignment

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