Sharp and Shooting Pain in the Little Toe

Sharp and Shooting Pain in the Little Toe

Twenty-five percent of the bones in the body are located in the feet, and over 50% of those bones are in the toes. The toes are important; they help you move and stay balanced. Many things can cause damage to the toes with the repercussions of sharp and shooting pain. However, if you have sharp and shooting pain in the little toe that is unexplained and not due to an actual perceived injury, it is most likely the result of irritated nerves.

Sharp and shooting pain in the little toe is usually the result of nerve irritation in that area. This differs from muscle and joint pain which is usually aching, pulsating and throbbing. Luckily, the causes are usually the same in both, these pains usually develop as a result of compression or entrapment of the little nerves in the skin due to shoe tightness or pressure.

The following video provides information about the causes of little toe pain and the available treatments.


Symptoms of Pinky Toe Nerve Pain:

If the sharp and shooting pain in the little toe is due to nerve irritation due to entrapment, you can expect the following symptoms:

  • Numbness.
  • Burning.
  • Tingling.
  • These usually mean nerve irritation.
  • Sharp and shooting pain rather than aching or numb.
  • Aching or numb usually means non=nerve pain.


Sharp and Shooting Pain in the Little ToeMost common Causes of Sharp and Shooting Pain in the Little Toe:

  • Tight shoes.
  • Foot swelling in shoes.
  • Poor biomechanics.
  • Tight Calves.
  • Obesity.
  • Lack of stretching.
  • No over the counter orthotics to help biomechanics.

This pain is caused by nerve compression and entrapment. In your little toe you have the distal extensions of the rural nerve on the outside of the toe which is very prone to being compressed by the outside edge of your shoe; this nerve compression that leads to nerve injury is called neuropraxia. This leads to irritation of the nerve and swelling around that area, as the swelling starts to get worse the nerve pain continues to get even worse.


Treatment of Sharp and Shooting Pain in the Little Toe

The best way to take care of this problem is by first decreasing the inflammation in this area and prevent the irritation on the nerve. You must ice the area and take some anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen as directed by your podiatrist or pharmacist until this condition starts to get better.

Important: It takes the nerve at least 10-20 days for the nerve injury (neuropraxia) to start getting better.

Icing the foot to reduce nerve inflammation.

How to Keep the Pain Away?

If there is anything else going on with your toe like a 5th toe bunion, a 5th toe hammer toe or 5th toe swelling, following this treatment guide on 5th toe problems. The following link will provide a treatment guide based on what is causing your pain. This guide will help you both diagnose and treat your problem!

Complete Treatment Guide for you Little 5th Toe Pain


Other Causes of Pain on the Outside of the Foot:

Although nerve entrapment is the most common cause of neuropraxia (sharp and shooting pain in the little toe), there are many other causes to this problem. Bunions, corns, calluses, hammer-toes, ingrown nails, and swelling of the toes can cause this uncomfortable sharp and shooting pain.

The video below outlines the common causes of pain on the outside of the foot, which includes the little toe pain, as well as possible safe and inexpensive home treatments.

Conditions that can cause Sharp and Shooting Pain in the little toe:

1. Skin Problems:

  • Calluses: Calluses are thick patches of skin that appear in sites of friction against the shoe, the floor or any other part of the foot. The danger is that a blister can form underneath the callus! Click on this page for more information!

  • Corns: A corn looks like a little pebble that can form, they usually even occur with a callus around them. This can be exceptionally painful. Click on the page for more information! 

  • Ingrown Toenails: Follow our at home pain relief guides, how to trim your nails properly and even how to remove them permanently.

  • Swollen Painful Toe: These occur from stubbing your toe, so learn how to deal with them properly! Is it broken or is it just bruised, find out with this guide.


2. Bone and Joint Problems:

3. Muscle & Tendon Pain:


Other causes of Pain in the Small Toes:

Most Likely

Ball of the foot:

5th Toe


More on the Pinky Toe: