How Can a Podiatrist Help You Manage Claw Toe Pain?

Posted on: 13 May 2019

If one of your toes is curling inwards, then you may have some discomfort or even pain. This condition, known as claw toe, can make walking difficult. Even at rest, the toe and other parts of your foot may hurt.

While some claw toes are fixed with surgery, not all toes get to this stage. If surgery isn't an option, then seeing a podiatrist should help. 

What can a podiatrist do for you?

Make Your Toe More Comfortable

Once a podiatrist assesses your toe, they can help you make things more comfortable. For example, they may recommend taping, splints or orthotic devices. If your toe has just started to curl out of position, then it may still have some flexibility. In this case, taping or a splint may keep the toe straight.

Things get a bit trickier further down the line. As a toe claws, it loses flexibility and may not straighten out all that easily. Here, your podiatrist may recommend padding products that will relieve pressure on the toe. If your toe is putting stress on other areas of your foot, an orthotic support may also help deal with that pain.

Teach You Exercises

You may lose some natural movement in your toe and foot as your claw toe progresses. This can cause some discomfort. You may feel that your foot is seizing up. 

To keep things supple and flexible, a podiatrist can show you some foot exercises. For example, they may get you picking things up with your toes. Or, they may show you how to stretch your feet in certain ways to loosen up tendons and muscles that have tightened because of the toe's position. 

Help You Choose Better Footwear

Once a toe starts to claw, you may find it painful to wear your current shoes. You may find it hard to fit the curled toe in your shoe; the pressure of fitting the toe in a shoe may make other parts of your foot hurt.

Your podiatrist can give you advice on suitable shoes for this condition. For example, you may find it easier to wear shoes with more room around at the front. The more space your toes have, the more comfortable they'll be.

The earlier you get advice on a claw toe, the easier it is to manage. If one of your toes is curling, then seeing a podiatrist now might be a good idea.