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Unbelievable sharp/electric pain on lateral foot + little toe

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by WellThisStinks, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. WellThisStinks

    WellThisStinks New Member

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    4 days ago I noticed that, after standing all day watching surgery, I had a quick twinge of pain in my little toe, no big deal.

    Well, for the last 3 days I have been having intermittent stabbing pain, easily 9/10 level of pain, localized to the lateral side of my right foot and little toe. The pain is deeper than the skin, and feels like a (terrible) shock of electricity. The pain seems to lie along the S1 dermatome. Motor function, and sensation to my little toe are NOT impaired.

    This pain is worse at night, and wakes me up often in the early morning hours.

    It doesn't spread beyond the side of my foot. It comes on quickly, and goes away after a second. Time between attacks can vary from 15 mintues, to a minute or so.

    I notice during the day it might not be so bad, and some nights I can sleep through the night. It really seems variable, but one thing is for sure, the pain is severe, and worse at night.

    I do not wear tight shoes, I am not on medication, and I have no health problems to speak of.

    Thank you!
  2. WellThisStinks

    WellThisStinks New Member

    for demographic data, I also want to add that I'm a white male, mid 20s
  3. WellThisStinks

    WellThisStinks New Member

    i want to add a development- the pain is always worse at night, anywhere from 8pm->5am.

    Funny enough, i dont have shoes on and im lying down, when i get the most attacks!!! what the heck, this is really stressing me out
  4. WellThisStinks

    WellThisStinks New Member

    after a bit of research, I believe I have sural nerve entrapment, probably close to the ankle.

    now, theres a bit of a conflict with this theory, since moving the toe/strtching my foot DOESNT cause any pain. There also isn't any tingling/numbness.

    But I still believe it's just a nerve entrapment...theres very few causes for (very) intermittent deep nerve pain (thats highly localized) w/out weakness or loss of sensation
  5. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have the same thing. It started about 2.5 yrs ago, in both feet, but now luckily is in just one. It is the same pain you described; deep nerve pain with no loss of sensation or function of the foot or toes. The pain is just in the baby toe and feels sharp or stabbing. The pain for me is incredible, it's sporadic, comes and goes, maybe a few strikes over a few mins then nothing all day etc. Each strike lasts about 5-10 seconds, unless its back to back and it also occurs more at night (enough to wake me up at times). I usually end up squeezing my toe to try and numb the pain b/c it can be unbearable

    I know its not my shoes or from walking (I don't get the pain from that). The skin on my foot is fine and I haven't had an injury to either foot or ankle. Since the sensation stopped in one foot about a yr ago, I have hope it might go away in the other as well (but hasn't yet, it happens sometimes every few days but mostly every day). Regardless, I'm a bit doubtful it is sural nerve entrapment, although this is still possible (esp if considering it a problem of inflammation and I need to learn more about how cyst could be causing it).

    Considering all that, I question if the nerve pain could also be a sign of early diabetes? I've never had my blood sugar checked but obviously need to do this. I think diabetes is even more possible as a cause since for me I had it in both feet for over a yr but at least one foots gotten better. As well, only more recently I started to change my diet (last year). This is something you might want to consider. Not sure how your diets been or what your exercise is like. I'm increasing my level of exercise, and will wait to see if over time this and diet change affects the toe pain I still have on the right side.

    Another possible cause might be MS early symptoms? I only say this b/c having this weird nerve pain and a few other odd symptoms over the last 8 years has made me consider this as a possible cause as well. For you it may be irrelevant if you haven't had any other strange body occurrences.

    Also gout is a possibility -but lesser one I think- as it's said the large toe is most affected, not the fifth toe:S

    I should mention too (regarding the diet-pain link I mentioned earlier) I had a crap diet within two years leading up to the pain development (before that time I ate pretty healthy). Does that mean for sure its diet related, no but its important to make note of. And perhaps you might have a not so healthy diet (possible), so something to consider. I'll rule the diet factor out -for myself- later, if the pain for me goes away over time on my right side due to healthier eating and increased exercise:)

    I should also add that I am a registered nurse.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. WellThisStinks

    WellThisStinks New Member

    Thank you so much for responding. it is nice to hear from a health professional (I am in med school now).

    My foot problems have gone away, and then returned, funny enough. I can now say for sure, that they were due to me wearing FLAT shoes, while standing on hard surfaces all day.

    My feet have almost NO arch, and the dress shoes I (was) wearing had NO support. Once I stopped wearing them (and after 3 days of using ibuprofen), the foot pain went away. With a flat foot, I believe the sural nerve might well have become entrapped as it travels under the outside heel (and inflamed tissue most def would not help this problem).


    I also believe my poor diet and lack of exercise exacerbated the problem. I recently started going to the gym and eating healthy again, which I believe helped strengthen my foot.

    Fast forward to today, and I had to wear the bad shoes again while doing clinical stuff all day- I've gotten two flare-ups in the little toe nerve pain.

    I appreciate your input, but I have to agree with you that I probably don't have the early stages of MS, diabetic neuropathy, or gout. I only say this because my symptom is so isolated, started so suddenly, and these diseases rarely come on in such a direct/focused manner (or to my demographic).

    once again, thank you, and I hope your foot problems ease up in the future- there is nothing worse than a 9/10 toe pain waking you up at night :(
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  7. Jbarry777

    Jbarry777 Guest

    For about a month now I have developed a pain also coming late in day, but mainly at night. It starts on the inside of my left ankle bone and comes up about 8 inches and lasts only for a few seconds. It only occures about 2 to 3 times a week. Until I purchased a home and now have a lot of laborous chores, I used to excersize 2/week running, hiking, etc. I'm 43 and in fair to good health. 5'9", 187 lbs, muscular, drink some. I work all week as a manager, many times over a computer, but I do get out, then I come home and work most of the weekend, except for Sunday Church.
  8. twaldrop

    twaldrop Guest

    Terible lateral foot pain too!

    I found your post while looking for the cause of my sudden and extremely sharp foot pain. Mine is exactly as you describe. Sharp, deep pain lasting a few seconds and is worse at night. It started suddenly about a week ago.
    Nerve entrapment sounds like a reasonable cause, what can be done to relieve it? Massage? Acupuncture?
    Did ibuprophen help?
  9. coyote

    coyote Guest

    I have had the exact same symptoms....sharp pain in my little toe lasts just a few seconds. I am a massage therapist and If I hold or rub it the pain goes away immediatly. It almost always occurs while sitting or lying down. I think it may be right that wearing flat shoes is the cause. I broke my leg 7 months ago and while in a cast I hardly ever wore shoes and if I did I would wear a sandle on my right foot. The only difference is I think I broke my toe while my left leg was in a boot and I stubbed in on the crutches ......the pain started after the toe healed and I was walking on both feet although limping....I also continued to wear flip flops cos my injured leg was so swollen. I was concerned about my arch and now that I read your post I believe that could be the cause. I have just recently begun using a bike and eliptical to exercise but haven't seen an improvement yet. I do have a fairly good diet and my blood sugar is fine so not diabetes....and not gout couse gout does not respond to massage...it makes it hurt more. Will wear better shoes and let you know if this helps. thanks for your posts they have helped me.
  10. coyote

    coyote Guest

    I have been using Ibuprofen at night and it does help. I also have been taking a multi vit. with B's. Started stretching my low back and piriformis thinking it may be originating in my sciatic nerve L4-L5. Have had massage clients with toe pain from sciatica. Had 36 hours of no pain but then stood all day to cook for thanksgiving and then a lot of standing for the holiday and bam.....electric pain back again....not as bad or as frequent but bad enough. I also have been exercising and strenthening my foot and toes with exercises. Doesn't cause the pain to occur ...I can't seem to make it happen just comes out of no where. Will keep you posted of my progress.
  11. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    This sounds very similar to what I am experiencing. About a month ago, I had the sharp, stabbing, electric pain on the side of my foot just below the big toe. The episodes recurred several times per day for the next few days, then disappeared.

    Three days ago, I began having the same symptoms again, but on the inside mid-sole of the same foot.

    What kind of specialist would I see for treatment? A podiatrist? A neurologist? An orthopedist?

    I have been told that some of my cervical disks are beginning to degenerate. Would this impact your recommendation?

    Thanks in advance!
  12. tdaley69

    tdaley69 Guest

    ok, So, THe past few weeks I have experienced What I think might be the same thing . . . There is a "Sharp, - (Very Sharp) Shooting pain at the top of my foot. It is Pins And Needles Kind Of Pain, - Almost like a Tattoo feels, - Only it comes minutes to seconds apart. I have had all sorts of Blood work done recently and It is nnot the Diabetis pain. but sounds very similar to what I have read. It is definately internal and Nerveish Feeling. . . . I have dislocated this particular anckle Quite a few years ago . . And They removed the Hard wear prematurly due to an infection. I was never happy with the Doctor or care I Received from this Operation and my Pinky toe has always felt numb since . . . Last week end with the Holidays it didn't bother me a bit, but now its back . . the strange thing I find is that it only hurts when relaxed, If i Walk or stand on the right foot it goes away. . . when pain is BAD, Rubbing it works. but as soon as I stop it comes back with in 5 minutes . . . it is Etreamly tender and sensitive to touch, - it is slightly swollen, and red. Feels almost like there could be Fluid Built up in there . . It is very Pain full and Very odd . . Has anyone talked to a Doctor about this . . My Doctor Seemed puzzeled, and told me to take 2 to 3 IBprofin a Day for a Week or So, - Pain or no pain and see what happens . . . . (Some Friggin Doctor huh?) Anyway . . has anyone found any answers . . . ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
  13. coyote

    coyote Guest

    I went to my doctor last month, he Xrayed my foot and said that my little toe is perfect. He saw a very small bone spur but didn't think that was causing the pain. He suggested I wait a few months and if it persists go to a podiatrist. He had no idea why it was occuring! I didn't have pain for about 3 weeks over holidays now the past two weeks I get the pain about once a day, mostly when sitting or lying in bed. I still think it is coming from my sciatic low back. When I spoke to a Physical therapist they agreed. I tried yoga 2 weeks ago and believe that going on my toes and then flattening feet may have caused the pain to return so I have stopped the yoga and am biking each day which doesn't seem to make it worse. It seems to be getting a bit better but I am really frustrated. It is like waiting to get a shock out of no where and it is really difficult to relax....any other ideas would be welcomed!
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Saw this and wanted to post. I also am having very sharp intermittent pains however they are on top of my foot between the two smallest toes. I notice it mostly when sitting and sometimes lying down. Wow does it hurt. Any suggestions?
  15. skelly

    skelly Guest

    i am so glad to have come across this thread, even though it doesn't have a definitive answer for me (yet, hopefully) ...

    it has been so difficult for me to explain what i am feeling, sharp, shooting pains in my foot/feet, basically what has been described already here. i am female, 35 years old, with no significant or chronic health issues, average weight, like to "be active" in that i camp, hike, bike, play at jumprope and tennis, do basic stretch yoga and like to do fundraising walks etc. by no means hardcore, just not sedentary.

    this has only started happening in the last year or so, but it is growing increasingly more painful, to the point where i cannot sleep and am whimpering and trying to change position, massage, walk around, anything i can think of. the pain combined with lack of sleep (i am already a very light/little hours sleeper by nature) is really starting to take a toll on me.

    i am not a physician, or in any medical field whatsoever, but by trade i do a lot of research, and i have been looking into it for a year. all my friends/family have to say is "probably gout" or "probably fibromyalgia" but no realy ideas as to what/why/symptoms, etc. which is why i am here.

    i will watch this thread with hope, and continue to research. i have no insurance and my work is freelance. i also tend to be wary of things like "just drink a teaspoon of cider vinegar everyday and it will magically stop hurting" without a why, especially. however i am a person who uses tea tree oil and epsom salts, etc, with a why especially.

    any feedback is very much appreciated. so glad i found this forum.

  16. julesk

    julesk Guest

    i have had this for about a year now. it comes and goes but lately has been much worse, it wakes me up the pain is so bad. there is nothing when i am walking around. i used to be a nurse and to rule out gout i am going to take vit c 1000mg for 4 days. this has the effect of increasing the excretion of uric acid build up. i think it unlikely to be this though. i am already on celebrex and amitryptilline for fibromyalgia but this is a different pain altogether. doc had it xrayed and nil of note so just analgesia.
    it is interesting that flat shoe wearers seem to suffer it more and my father had the same thing.
    if i come up with something i will repost.
  17. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Some of the symptoms above might be related to blood clots or circulation problems. You all should consider that as a possibility.
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have just started getting pains but mine is a little different that described above. Mine is only on my little toe & it's on the side. No pains that keep me awake at night but during the day while trying to walk. I don't have any new shoes, same ones I always wear. It even feels like a needle when I wear socks. All this just started on Monday. I don't see anything that could be causing this .... no discoloration or anything that looks like a bite. Any suggestions?
  19. Bill M

    Bill M Guest

    I've had the same one or two-second, very sharp pains in my feet; also more at night, also when lying down.

    I've had peripheral neuropathy (not related to any general health condition) for about fifteen years. Happen to have had a very complete work-up at Cornell Medical School in New York in the last six months. "The sensory nerves in your legs are not conducting properly. We can give you meds but it's nothing to worry about."

    General symptoms are numbness and tingling both.

    I've tried the standard sleep aid, Amitriptylin in very low dose. It does work to promote sleep but I found it interfered with sexual stimulation and I chose the foot discomfort :>)

    Probably not a bad idea to have the pain checked. A neurologist wouldn't be a bad bet.

    Good luck to all,

    Bill M.
  20. Hcw

    Hcw New Member

    I've had pain on the side of both little toes all week. Feels like the skin/toe is being pinched or squeezed tightly and it interferes with my ability to walk. I've used lidocaine ointment to numb it - no results. Used Icy Hot, nothing. Put moleskin in my shoes to cushion it - just hurt more. My feet got wet in the rain and it worsened. My co-worker told me to use green alcohol and I did..the pain subsided enough to allow me to go about my day and do my work. I had to reuse the green alcohol about every half hour to hour until by the day's end, I didn't have to use it. I am puzzled about this because I never had this pain before. It just came out of the blue. I thought it was a corn, but it's not. The skin is ok, no injuries to the toe; nothing...just this excruciating pain out of no-where. My blood sugar is good (91); my foot was x-rayed previously (2x) and I do have arthritis in my left big toe (not gout); I didn't hit my foot. I am really curious to know what this might be. I hope my podiatrist can help -am seeing the podiatrist this week. Hope everyone gets an answer and relief cause this pain is no joke!

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