Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]
Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe [Causes & Best Treatment]
Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe is almost always a compression of the nerves. 95% of the time this is due to repeated irritation caused by shoes!
- 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!
- 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 callous 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 along the tendons and nerves along the outside of the ankle from pressure against the outside of the shoe.
Click on the photo gallery to see descriptions!
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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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 more on Sharp Shooting Pain under Pinky Toe:
Pinky Toe Nerve Pain Treatment:
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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, these are scientifically backed!
- Bio-freeze is cost effective an shows great results.
- This is more for people who have difficulty sleeping or walking due to significant issues.
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is the 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 whether icing is worth doing, but for chronic pain this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open.
- 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 or calf muscle and for 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 a have flat feet.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for 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.
- 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.
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.
- They cushion under the front of your foot and prevent it from twisting out against the outside of your shoe as much as possible.
- These are one of the best possible options for 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 stubbed or broken 5th toe, these products may be of assistance.
- This guide is meant for 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 are having 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 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 are unable to 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 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 very difficult otherwise.
Outside of the Foot Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your outside of the foot injury. If you are immobilized too long the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg. The Pros are that you injured lateral foot will hopefully have a chance to gradually heal!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- Sometimes the best thing to do is to completely keep pressure off of the outside of your foot.
- In the early stages of the disease there are benefits to offloading and can give you outside of the 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 pronated.
- Pronated foot will turn your foot outward in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- For many of her patients this has solved their pain and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
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Outside of the Foot Stability Brace:
- Stability brace goes 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 little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
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Outside of the Foot Pain [Lateral Foot Pain]