Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe

Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe is almost always a compression of the nerves. This is usually due to swelling or repeated irritation caused by shoes!


Sharp Shooting Pinky Toe Overview:

The presentation of sharp shooting pain under the pinky toe is usually due to irritation and inflammation of the toe leading to nerve entrapment and compression.

This is a nerve irritation condition called neuropraxia which can take anywhere from 10-20 days to get better.

Inflammation and irritation are usually caused by tight shoes, improper foot biomechanics, overuse syndrome and flat foot.


Pinky Toe Nerve Pain Treatment overview:

This condition can be treated by doing your best to decrease the inflammation by icing and taking anti-inflammatory medication, while at the same time removing the offending irritation agent.

The most common reasons for swelling an irritation include such as the tight shoes, wearing high heels and correct any leg injuries that may be making you walk differently.


Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe

If you think you have a bigger underlying problem in your pinky toe, click the below link to find out what might be wrong. Common problems include a broken toe, hammer toe, tight shoes, ingrown toenail or possible fracture.

Complete Pinky Toe Treatment Guide

Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe Causes:

  • Neuropraxia – this is nerve irritation or light damage that can take numerous weeks to heal after the cause is corrected.
  • Swelling of the toe compressing the nerve.
  • Injury along the outside of the foot compressing the nerve.
  • Tight Shoes.
  • High Heels.
  • Small Shoes.
  • Flat feet or poor biomechanics.
  • Tight Calves.
  • No orthotic control of foot motion.
  • Shoes with an angled heel compressing the outside of the foot.


Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe Symptoms:


These symptoms are most commonly seen at night while you are sleeping. This can also happen very commonly while you are walking.

If the pain is most common while walking, then it is most likely a biomechanical problem.

If it is mostly at night, you may have a condition called peripheral neuropathy- this is frequently associated with diabetes, metabolic health conditions, smoking, drinking alcohol and possibly decreased cardiovascular health.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Numbness.
  • Burning.
  • Tingling.
  • Sharp Pain.
  • Shooting Pain.
  • These are all nerve irritation, not muscle pain.
  • Not Sore and Aching – this is muscle pain.


Causes to consider if pain is worse while walking:


If you get sharp and shooting pain while walking this is almost always a biomechanical compression type pain.


Consider causes such as:

  • Shoes that are too tight.
  • High heel or unsupportive shoes.
  • Dress shoes that are tight are a very common cause in men.
  • Long work hours.
  • Heavy weight and pressure on the front of your feet.
  • Tight muscles in your calf and hamstring.
  • Flat feet.
  • Osteoarthritis in your feet.


Treatment for sharp shooting pain while standing or walking:


There are many things you can do to fix the sharp shooting pain in your pinky toe almost immediately. These solutions include:


  • Make sure you can fit a fingertip between your longest toe and the edge of the shoe.
  • Make sure the shoe fits well.
  • Most people do better with a really supportive running shoe rather than dress shoes, flats, flimsy running shoes that flip around and become very floppy.
  • A good pair of over the counter orthotics to start with if you have a foot deformity or osteoarthritis.
  • Losing even 10 lbs can make a huge difference during a long work shift.
  • This can really decrease the pressure on your feet.
  • Every 10 lbs that you drop, can lead to about a 30% reduction to your feet in pressure.
  • Good supportive orthotics can take 20, 30, 40 or even 50% of the pressure off the front of your foot. This should help more than just your pinky toes, this would even help your legs and ankles to stand properly.


Sharp shooting pinky toe pain that is mostly at night, not during the day:


  • If your sharp shooting pain in your toes is usually during the night this can mean a few different things are happening.
  • Most likely you are still getting sore feet, especially if wearing tight shoes or walking barefoot.
  • Your feet then swell at night and compress the nerves.
  • This can also mean you have a metabolic disease like diabetes, high blood sugar, possible smoking or heart or kidney issues.
  • It is best to see your primary care doctor or your podiatrist in these cases to get a significant amount of relief.


Pinky Toe Pain That is Not Sharp or Shooting Pain :


  • If the pain is not sharp or shooting but more of an aching and throbbing pain, then you should be more worried about a muscle or joint problem in the pinky toe.
  • Sharp or shooting pain is mostly seen with nerve irritation.
  • Usually you will have both types of pain appreciated.
  • The most common problems are a little toe bunion (aka bunionette) and the pinky toe hammer toe.


For a complete guide to how to treat the muscle and joint pains in your pinky toe, follow this link:


Complete Pinky Toe Treatment Guide


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About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.