With several types of toe deformities and different underlying causes, there is no simple method of reducing pain. Using several tactics to reduce pain can make it easier to perform daily tasks.
There are many types of padding that can be purchased at stores to help with different types of deformities. If you have bunions, where there is overgrowth of bone along the side of your big toe and the toe begins to point toward the second toe, pads made specifically for bunions might help. These items fit over the big toe and generally have a silicone or foam pad that cushions the bony overgrowth. This will minimize pressure when you wear shoes and might also prevent your shoes from rubbing the skin off that area. Similarly, padding can work well for hammer toe or claw toe deformities, where you might have problems with the tip of your toe rubbing against the bottom of your shoe or the knuckles rubbing against the top of your shoe.
Choose Good Shoes
In some cases, toe deformities might be caused from wearing uncomfortable shoes for years. These shoes might squeeze the toes and force them out of alignment. Regardless of the underlying cause of deformities, your shoes matter when trying to reduce pain and preventing exacerbation of the problem. Generally, most shoes with a slightly rounded or square toe box will be more comfortable because they accommodate the natural shape of the foot. For claw toe and hammer toes, you might need a shoe with a deeper toe box to provide more room between the top and bottom of the shoe. Although the depth of the toe box will vary based on the manufacturer and type of shoe, you likely need help from a specialty shoe store. These stores often carry various shoes specifically made for people with foot concerns.
Think About Surgery
Foot surgery is an excellent tool for reducing pain from toe deformities. Most toe deformities, especially when they are moderate to severe, can significantly limit daily activities because your feet must support your weight. Deformities are typically corrected by removing excess bone growth, in the case of bunions, and correcting the alignment of the toes. When the alignment is corrected, it might be performed by removing the toe joints and fusing the remaining bone together, or the joint might be replaced. Fusing the joint means the toe will no longer flex, but it generally alleviates pain. A joint replacement allows near-normal movement of the toe joint.
There are several ways to minimize pain associated with toe deformities, but most cases will eventually require surgery. Although surgical intervention can seem intimidating, having the joints fixed surgically can often result in little or no residual pain.