Little Toe Pain: Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment 2019

95% of the time little toe pain is caused by compression and friction by your foot flattening out. Consider nerve pain and bruising to the toe.



Little toe pain overview:

  • Little toe pain can be one of the most painful problems you can have in your foot!
  • Sometimes this is referred as the pinky toe, the fifth toe, or even the baby tell.
  • Although this is a small toe there are a lot of painful nerves that 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 to 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.
  • Increased pressure and decreased flexibility.
  • Increasing age.
  • Broken toe.
  • Sprained toe.


Do you have outside of the foot pain?
Little toe pain is caused by compression and rubbing 90% of the time.  As your foot flattens out, your toe jams into your shoe and causes numbness, burning and tingling.


What are the specific causes of pain in the little toe joint?

The most common causes include hammer toes, 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.


Outside of the foot pain and little toe pain
The fifth toe presses up against the side of the orthotic and against the curved portion of the shoe. All of the following problems are related to pressure against the front of the shoe.


Most Common Causes of Pain in the Little Toe Joint:

This is when you toe looks really big and as if though its 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.

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.

If you experience numbness, burning or tingling, this might be a pinched nerve in your toes.


Pinky toe, 5th toe pain and little toe pain
The little toe is small and vulnerable. Even without shoes you can see it is twisting and pressing into the ground.


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 hammer toes, corns or other pinky toe pains.


Protect the skin:

  • Soft toe gel pad is an excellent way to keep pressure off your little toes.
  • For some patients we simply put at gel pad on over these 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, just 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 are simply getting a shoe that has 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 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 you are standing during the day.


If all these fail, go 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 at all and you think you may need surgery and you want to talk about the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantage of surgery and come 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:




5th Metatarsal Pain:

Muscle & Tendon Pain:


Little Toe Pain Causes are most common after physical trauma such as stubbing your toe, but it is very common to develop calluses and nerve pain. The most common causes of little toe pain are injuries such as a 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 shoes that are 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) that is very similar to a smaller bunion but it is just affecting the little toe rather than the big toe.


Skin Conditions associated with Toe pain:

  1.  Toe and Toenail Cancer.


Recommended Foot Doctor Products