Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]
Pain on Outside of Foot Near Little Toe [Causes & Best Treatment]
The most common cause for pain outside the foot near the little toe is bunion little toe pain, 5th toe pain, and 5th metatarsal 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 at all possible.
So, let’s GO!
Little Toe Pain Causes:
These are the top 5 most common pain on the outside of the foot near little toe causes:
Outside of little toe pain pictures:
Common causes of pain on the side of the foot by little toe include:
- Corn and callus pain can result in sharp pain in the little toe. This can compress the nerves and cause radiating up the side of the foot and the leg.
- A tailor’s bunion can cause bunion little toe pain.
- A tailor’s bunion is also known as a bunionette. An aggravated Tailor’s bunion can cause pain in the foot below the little toe and outside the little toe.
- Fourth toe interspace rubbing can cause pain between the little toe and the next toe. It can also cause radiating pain below the little toe.
- Sharp pain in the little toe is usually associated with the sural nerve.
- The sural nerve runs along the outside of the foot near the little toe, along the outside of the ankle, and up the outside of the leg.
- Sometimes an irritated little toe can radiate all the way up the ankle.
- This usually starts from pressure on the outside of the toe against the shoe.
- Take a look at the pictures in the foot or gallery to look at the sural nerve and see if this is where pressure is developing.
Outside of little toe pain symptoms:
Symptoms can vary depending on the cause. We have included the very most specific causes above.
The most common symptoms include:
- Sharp, shooting tingling pain.
- Sharp pain in the ball of the foot near the little toe.
- Pain between the little toe and next toe.
- Pain on the bottom of the foot near the little toe
- Numbness, burning, and tingling.
- Pain that gets worse off standing for a long time.
- Pain gets worse in tight shoes.
- Pain that gets worse while standing on hard surfaces.
Pain on the outside of the foot near the little toe causes:
Calluses on the base of the little toe:
- Calluses on the sub-fifth MTPJ (metatarsal phalangeal joint) are probably the #1 cause of pain on the bottom of the foot near the little toe.
- Calluses are patches of thickened skin on her toes or in between the toes.
- This is like having a hard rock in your shoe that never goes away.
5th Toe Corn Pain:
- A corn on the fifth toe is probably the most common cause of sharp pain in the little toe.
- Corns usually are associated with the 5th toe hammertoes and develop on the 5th proximal interphalangeal joint (5th PIPJ).
- A corn on the 5th PIPJ can also cause sharp pain in the little toe joint or a swollen, painful little toe with no injury.
- Corns are like more focused and concentrated calluses.
- These are like pebbles that form a spike through your skin.
- Click for a guide to painful corn on little toe treatment.
- This can lead to a painful corn on the side of the little toe
5th toe bone spur:
- These are enlargements of bone due to tension or pressure on the foot.
- A bone spur can be related to a painful callus on the little toe. It can also be related to pain on the top of the foot near the little toe.
- Surgery is rarely required. These are usually helped with good shoes.
- A tailors bunion can cause the base of little toe pain. This will usually lead to pain on the side of the foot by the little toe.
- A tailors bunion (AKA bunionette) can create unwanted callous formation causing even more foot pain on the ball of the foot under the little toe,
- In most cases, the Tailor’s bunions start small, and as you age, the bunion gets more inflamed and tender.
- If the tissue becomes swollen on the side of the joint, this can develop into bursitis.
- Studies show that tailor’s bunion treatment and surgery can be very effective.
5th metatarsal stress fracture:
- If you cause too much strain to your foot during activities such as running or exercise, it is possible to obtain a fracture to your fifth metatarsal.
- A 5th metatarsal stress fracture can cause sharp pain in the ball of the foot near the little toe.
- It can also feel like a gradual increase in pain under the little toe side of the foot.
- A stress fracture can develop gradually without any specific signs of injury or trauma.
- It can take a metatarsal stress fracture months to get better, resulting in little swell and side of the foot swelling.
- As we age, our feet take a lot of wear and tear.
- Metatarsalgia means pressure along the bottom of your metatarsals.
- If the foot is very flat-footed, most of this metatarsalgia pressure can be along the 5th metatarsal.
- Metatarsalgia can result in the base of little toe pain and metatarsal pain in the little toe. It can also cause pain on the side of the foot by little toe and pain in the ball of the foot behind the little toe.
- We find the best results with the best shoes for metatarsalgia.
- Shoes and good orthotics are usually the best way to reduce pain below the little toe.
- Doing daily things such as walking can cause arthritis. Arthritis can form in any bone in your body.
Little toe pain in shoes:
- Little toe pain in shoes can usually result in dress shoes or pointed shoes.
- A tight shoe and thing sock can lead to little toe swelling and pain.
- Inflammation of the fifth metatarsal can be excruciating as your feet hold all of your weight as you stand or do most activities.
5th toe Hammertoe:
- The hammertoe is when the tendons abnormally pull on the toe.
- This causes the toe to bend in a fixed position.
- A 5th toe hammertoe can lead to the little toe being red and painful.
- This can also be associated with a corn to the top of the 5th proximal interphalangeal joint.
- This is a symptom of not enough support and your toe getting crushed and bent against the side of your foot over a long period of time.
- This is a widespread problem to have.
Plantar Plate Tear:
- A plantar plate injury is rarer in the 5th toe, but it can occur.
- It is most common under the 2nd metatarsal phalangeal joint.
- This can lead to foot pain on the ball of the foot under the little toe.
Broken toe or sprained toe:
- If your toes turning dark purple or just really bruised: it is possible to have a sprained or broken toe.
- This can leave the little toe red and painful.
- It is even more important to get pressure off the fifth toe and protected it.
- We prefer good supportive shoes, with mesh around where the fifth toe is.
Sprained pinky toe pain:
- A sprained pinky toe could happen with a twisted 5th toe or injury.
- This can take many weeks to heal and lead to the outside of little toe pain and pain below the little toe.
- There are 3 grades to a pinky toe sprain. They can range from pain for a few days to many months.
Pain on Outside of Foot Near Little Toe Treatment:
- There are silicone sleeves that can be placed along the outside of your foot to help cushion and prevent less friction.
- You want to avoid wearing tight shoes around the toes, such as high heels and shoes that have a pointy toe box.
- It is best to wear shoes that have mesh or a wider toe box. You can ice the affected area for up to ten minutes at a time, and three times a day may help relieve pain.
- If the pain is persistent, seek out your podiatrist for the best treatment possible as surgery may be needed.
- In some cases, injections may also be an option for treatment as this can relieve pain and help shrink swelling.
Best Gel Pads:
These are the best gel pads.
Get Great Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed outside of your foot
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or weak ankles.
- Consider shoes combined with good supportive orthotics for the best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
The real key to fix outside of the foot pain in order:
1) Most important is a good orthotic for your shoe.
- 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 the most 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.
- Menthol-based creams have been studied medically, and shoe safety and excellent results.
- This is not fluff. These are scientifically-backed!
- Biofreeze is cost-effective and shows great results.
- This is more for people who have difficulty sleeping or walking due to significant issues.
Our Recommended Orthotics To Stop Outward Compression:
- 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.
- Please don’t 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.
Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]