Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]
Little Toe Pain & Side of Foot Pain [Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment]
95% of the time, little toe pain & side of the foot pain is caused by compression. This is due to your foot flattening out & pronating. FIX the nerve pain!
- Outside of the foot, pain can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
- We are foot doctors & we see this problem get better almost every day.
- The goal is to solve this problem without medication or surgery if possible.
So, let’s GO!
Table of Contents
Pain on side of foot by little toe treatment video:
Foot pain outside of foot by little toe causes:
Outside of the Foot Pain Picture Gallery:
- Fifth toe pain usually has nothing wrong with the bone unless it has recently been broken. The pain usually results from pressure against the front of the shoe, causing a callus or ingrown toenail.
- The fifth toe joint can cause a Tailor’s bunion to occur. This can also result in nerve pain and arthritis of the fifth toe joint.
- The bone connecting to the fifth toe is called the fifth metatarsal. It is possible to develop a stress fracture or “Jones” fracture.
- It is also possible to have pain and tendons and nerves outside the ankle from pressure against the outside of the shoe.
- The peroneal tendons can also be causing pain. This means the peroneus brevis tendon and the peroneus longus tendon.
- Cuboid syndrome can also cause pain at the back and outside of the foot.
Click on the photo gallery to see descriptions!
Little Toe Pain Overview:
- Little toe pain can be one of the most painful problems you can have in your foot!
- Sometimes, this refers to the pinky toe, the fifth toe, or even the baby toe.
- Although this is a small toe, many painful nerves can be running through the side of your foot and giving you issues.
What Can Cause Little Toe Pain?
- Pinky toe pain is one of the most common causes of foot pain.
- This is the smallest whole, and it tends to be a curved part of your shoe that puts pressure on the toe.
- In fact, the little or fifth toe tends to have more problems than just about any other toe may be tied with the big toe joint for number one.
Having these in your life can make your 5th toe more painful.
- Tailor’s bunion or bunionette.
- Tight shoes.
- Flat foot.
- Poor ankle and hamstring flexibility.
- Increased weight.
- Hard floors.
- Long time spent on your feet.
- The increased pressure and decreased flexibility.
- Increasing age.
- Broken toe.
- Sprained toe.
What are the specific causes of pain in the little toe joint?
- The most common causes include hammertoes, horns, bone spurs, broken toes, and even sprains.
- Although these are conditions that we will read about, the single most common thing is simply compression and getting crushed in the front of your shoe.
Most Common Causes of Pain in the Little Toe Joint:
This is when your toe looks really big and as if though it’s popping out at the base.
This is when you have a crooked or curved toe.
This is when your toe starts to dislocate slightly.
Bent toes can occur for numerous reasons. See what you can do to make these feel better.
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 a blister can form underneath the callus!
A corn looks like a little pebble that can form. They usually even occur with a callus around them. This can be exceptionally painful.
Follow our at-home pain relief guides, how to trim your nails properly, and even how to remove them permanently.
Is it broken, or is it just bruised? These occur from stubbing your toe, so learn how to deal with them properly! Find out with this guide.
If you experience numbness, burning, or tingling, this might be a pinched nerve in your toes.
Little Toe Pain Treatment:
- What are some of the home treatments for little toe pain?
- These are some great tips to start getting your toes feeling better, whether you have hammertoes, corns, or other pinky toe pains.
Protect the skin:
- A soft toe gel pad is an excellent way to keep pressure off your little toes.
- We put a gel pad on over these for some patients, and you get immediate pain relief!
Keep the toe straightened well aligned:
- Sometimes using a hammertoe crest pad to keep your toe straight can keep the pressure off of these.
- We use numerous different gel pads to keep pressure off these sites and keep the toe straight.
- If you have pain on the tips of the little toe, this can very easily solve the problem.
Reduced pressure and friction:
- If you’re having corns or wounds develop between the toes, get a gel separator to prevent overlapping toes and pressure to the site.
- We have gel pads available that keep especially the fourth and the fifth toe from rubbing against each other.
Get shoes that fit:
- The most common solution that solves people’s problems is simply getting a shoe with enough room for the fifth toe.
- With the running shoe, make sure that some of the straps aren’t going directly where your fifth toe is. Make sure that it’s a nice gel-like material or breathable material.
Simply making the shoe change will prevent your fifth toe from rubbing:
- Keep an eye on your shoe and see how much your fifth toe buckles out while standing during the day.
If all these fails, see your podiatrist immediately!
- There’s always a chance that you could have something more dangerous or immediate going on.
Does little toe pain need surgery?
- There is excellent news!
- Very rarely is surgery needed because this is where biomechanical corrections are sometimes the most useful.
- The fifth toe is usually something that can be fixed without surgery.
- If you have any concerns and think you may need surgery, and you want to talk about the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages of surgery, and see us and make an informed decision.
- We see lots of people for fifth toe pain, so come check it out.
Surgery for the pinky toe:
- Surgery should be considered a last case scenario.
- If you try the gels and issues, surgery should only be considered as a last case resort.
- There are pros and cons to pinky toe surgery and little toe surgery.
Other Causes of Outside of the Foot Pain:
Little Toe Pain Causes are most common after a physical trauma, such as stubbing your toe, but it is widespread to develop calluses and nerve pain. The most common causes of little toe pain are injuries such as stubbing your toe, ingrown toenails, or even the formation of calluses or corns. These all occur because the small toe is exposed to friction on the outside of your foot from wearing shoes that are too tight or even too wide, resulting in rubbing against the outside of that foot.
It is important to take the initiative and begin to heal these problems on your own because the corns and calluses likely will not just go away on their own.
It is also possible to develop a little toe bunion known as a tailors bunion (aka bunionette) similar to a smaller bunion. Still, it is just affecting the little toe rather than the big toe.
5th Metatarsal Pain:
Muscle & Tendon Pain:
Skin Conditions associated with Toe pain:
Outside of the Foot Home Treatment:
- If you have 5th toe pain, tailor’s bunion pain, outside of the foot pain, or other lateral foot pain, this guide is for you!
- These are the recommended treatment products that will help you get better the fastest.
- The key is to stop your foot from turning outward and causing further damage to your foot.
The real key to fix outside of the foot pain in order:
1) Most important is a good shoe & a good insole for your shoe.
- Good shoes and good foot insoles are the best value and best long-term option.
- This will stop your foot from turning outward.
- Give these 1-2 weeks of effort, and you will really notice the pain relief.
- This does not instantly fix the pain but prevents future damage.
2) Gel pad to offload the toe.
- This will give your toes some cushion to keep pressure off the toes.
- Read below to see the specific gel pads for each specific condition.
3) Ankle brace for a possible correction.
- Check the recommended braces below.
- For ankle pain, this is almost guaranteed to improve your problem.
4) Menthol-based cream for pain relief.
- Creams and gels like Biofreeze act like ice but save you 20 minutes!
- Check below for our recommended pain relief options.
Best Treatment Products:
5th Toe Gel Pads:
- Fifth toe gel pads can stop your fifth toe or your Taylor’s bunion from rubbing against the side of your shoe.
- There are downsides because these don’t last forever, and they do start to break apart and develop older.
- They can be a low-cost option for tighter shoes during business meetings and at work.
Topical Pain Relief Creams:
- Menthol-based creams have been studied medically and show safety and excellent results.
- This is best for nerve irritation.
- This can help with the nerve pain on the outside of the foot. Just don’t use this as your only treatment option.
- This is not fluff, and these are scientifically backed!
- Bio-freeze is cost-effective and shows great results.
- This is more for people who have difficulty sleeping or walking due to significant issues.
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There are many nerves, ligaments, and tendons on the outside of your foot.
- This can help calm the inflammation until you fix the biomechanics making your foot turn outward.
- There is some debate about whether icing is worth doing, but this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open for chronic pain.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- More flexibility will make your foot turn out less.
- This is a very counter-intuitive way to take pressure off of the outside of your foot!
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius, calf muscle, and the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Best Shoes for Side of Foot Pain:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the outside of your foot
- This is especially important if you have flat feet.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for the best pain relief!.
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Orthotics for Side of Foot Pain:
- Orthotics are the single most important way to improve your outside of the foot pain, Seriously!
- Most people don’t think orthotics will fix their foot pain.
- Besides trauma, 95% of all 5th toe, middle of the foot, and outside of the ankle pain can be improved with orthotics.
- This is because orthotics help your foot from twisting out and compressing against your shoe when you walk.
- Would you please not take our word for it? Read the reviews!
Most Important Tips For Orthotics:
- Make sure you have a roomy enough shoe.
- I’m warning you right now, don’t try to stuff a full-length orthotic into a tiny tight shoe. It won’t work.
- If you have tighter or dress shoes: try the dress shoe or 3/4″ orthotics.
Full-length orthotics give you the most correction and improvement:
- If you have roomy enough shoes like running shoes or work boots. Get a full-length orthotic.
- The cushion under the front of your foot prevents it from twisting out against the outside of your shoe as much as possible.
- These are one of the best possible options for the medium and heavy-duty correction!
These orthotics are for slimmer shoes without laces:
- If you are tight in the front of your shoes, or the shoes are tighter, these 3/4″ might be the best choice for you.
- But if you have a choice, the full-length orthotics are much, much more supportive!
- So if you wear work boots or running shoes, get the full length. They get you more support.
Dress Shoe orthotics:
- These are premium leather orthotic recommendations for dress shoes.
- If you have a tight dress shoe get the 3/4″ orthotic.
Outside of the Foot Trauma:
- If you think you might have a broken 5th metatarsal fracture, a Jones fracture, a stub, or a broken 5th toe, these products may be of assistance.
- This guide is meant only after getting your foot evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist first!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you have severe outside of the foot pain or a broken bone!
5th Toe or 5th Metatarsal Injury Treatment:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a broken 5th metatarsal fracture, a Jones fracture, a stubbed, or a broken 5th toe: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is, of course, to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound, and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you cannot do so, it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for a very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury. Unfortunately, there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit-down job, there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be impossible otherwise.
Outside of the Foot Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your outside of the foot injury. The Pros are that your injured lateral foot will hopefully have a chance to heal gradually! If you are immobilized too long, the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg.
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- Sometimes the best thing to do is to keep pressure off of the outside of your foot completely.
- There are benefits to offloading in the early stages of the disease and can give you outside foot relief!
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices:
Outside of the Foot Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronation.
- The pronated foot will turn your foot outward, in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- This has solved their pain for many of her patients and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
Outside of the Foot Stability Brace:
- The stability brace goes a little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- At the same time, this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are a little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]