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Sharp severe pain in big toe when I point my foot down

by Stephanie
(Denver, CO)

I am 38 year old healthy, active female. About 3 weeks ago, I woke up, stretched and almost jumped out of my skin from pain...the top of my big toe down the entire side of my toe felt like someone had injected me with burning acid. Ever since, I cannot point my foot down such as when putting on pants or socks or point my toes without excruciating pain. It doesn't hurt to bend it, touch it, etc. I have no other pain anywhere in my foot and have no issues walking, wearing shoes, etc. It is limited only to the downward motion of my foot. I went to my orthopedist today and he was stumped...did xrays which showed some soft tissue swelling but no fractures and no pain in any other places. I was off the table with pain when he pointed my foot down. There was no injury, no change in activity, no new shoes, etc. He mentioned gout but doubted that was it (not exactly sure why). He ordered an MRI but I'm hoping that I can avoid that due to the costs. I also started on a prescription anti-inflammatory. I am desperate for a diagnosis!!


RESPONSE

Hi Stephanie,

I too am stumped which is not a good way to start off this discussion. What we do know is that your pain only occurs when you perform a specific motion with your foot, which seems to be bending the toe downwards. This tells me you are stretching something which then sets off the pain. If the pain is as excruciating as you state, then I would suspect it is a nerve that is being stretched and causing this much pain. The only other option would be a tendon being stretched, however, if the source was from a tendon I would think the tendon would continue to be sore even after it was "stretched" and would bother you to some extent even if you did not bend the foot and toe downward.
An MRI may or may not be of benefit, but before you do that you might want to consider a round of anti-inflammatory medication (which you are doing), but in addition I would have the toe immobilized in an effort to calm down whatever might be inflamed and causing the pain. If after a period of perhaps 3-4 weeks of this regimen, the pain is still present, then you might want to entertain an MRI.
As a side note, it does not sound like gout to me either. In gout, the big toe joint would be red and swollen, the toe would hurt regardless of what you were doing and of course in your case, it only happens when you move your foot and toe in a certain position. Secondly, gout is rare in women and tends to occur in post menopausal women when it does occur.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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Dec 09, 2017
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Toe Pain Is Gone!
by: Loretta

After posting here in May, the pain got worse, but, as I reported in July, I started icing the top of my foot daily where the extensor tendons meet the shin, took a break from yoga and avoided pointing the toe at all costs. I'm 53 and originally developed the pain after jamming the toes of my right foot and bending them under while stepping forward out of downward dog in the early spring. The pain is now completely gone and has been for almost 2 months. It takes a long time to heal this, but have hope that you can get better without drastic measures. I hope this helps those of you who are struggling with this odd and extremely painful condition.

Dec 08, 2017
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Same story
by: Avi

Same sharp pain on left foot (upper foot & toe) when bending toe/foot down. Appeared while I was being my spine fixed by a chiropractor. Mild stretch seems to help (maybe due to endorphines after all this pain ;-)

Dec 06, 2017
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help
by: Eder

this issue started for me about 4 months ago on my left big toe. only felt the pain when i gas pedaled (plantar flexion). the numbness is always there the middle half of my big toe. a month later it travelled to my right big toe. same symptoms. pain with similar movement, and numbness on half of the toe. i can't play soccer anymore since it hurts to kick the ball. i started stretching my lower back since i feel it's related. since the stretching, i feel that the pain has reduced significantly to mild on my left, but its still moderate on my right. numbness is still there. but i have to say that when i'm stretching my lower back, after a couple of seconds the pain goes away and i can flex my feet and toes with no pain. that's as much as i can provide on this. if anyone has a better way to solve this, let me know as i would really like to be able to play soccer again like i used to.
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I am not a back expert, but your narrative sounds like it is a back issue. It may the early symptoms of a more complex problem. Why not see a doctor to examine your back?

Marc Mitnick DPM

Nov 22, 2017
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Exactly the same pain - found the relief!!
by: Mathew

Solution: Someone said in the comments below to stretch through the pain - yes, it really works!!

But read this below to know if it would work for you.
I had immobilized my ankle due to a sports injury and was walking on my heel for about 2 months(too long by mistake). Once I removed the ankle brace and started stretching I felt this pain.I struggled with the pain for 3 weeks before deciding the meet the doc.
The doc during examination, trying to figured out stretched my ankle and toe down twice - was a bit painful though.
The interesting part:He did an x-ray, prescribed tests to determine uric acid levels(which came out normal) and couldn't figure out the cause.But after I came home the pain was GONE!!. I keep stretching now and the pain is not there now.

Explore: https://yogasynergy.com/nerve-tensioning-lengthening-and-untangling-nerves-to-improve-their-function/

Oct 15, 2017
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Improved significantly in about month
by: Ilya

I experienced this after an Achilles repair surgery 2 months. Exactly the same symptoms as everyone else described: sharp pain in my big toe front join when pointing the foot and pressing the toes down. Prevented me from swimming, yoga and other activities involving this motion. The doctor suggested it was EHL tendinitis, but it was hard for him to see how the surgery (done on the heel) could have caused this.
In any case, I'm happy to report that the pain mostly disappeared after about a month. I was doing PT during this time, and one particular exercise involved pressing the toe down with a tera band to strengthen the EHL. This could have helped.

Oct 11, 2017
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Same pain!! Any remedies?
by: Joe

I have the same pain as everyone else here. Point my foot down and and my toe at the same time and get sharp pain only on the outside of my big toe. Then the outside of the toe goes numb for a while but no other pain anywhere else, so weird. Hoping somebody on here experiencing the same pain or difficulties has found a concrete remedy please help.

Sep 29, 2017
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I have the same pain!!!
by: Yumi

I have the exact same symptoms as Stephanie. My foot is fine until I point my foot to put on pants or stretch. I can walk, run, and do exercises, but pointing the toes in my left foot makes me want to jump out of my skin. Stephanie, if you find out what it is, please share your info. I will do the same.

Sep 25, 2017
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Relief from pain
by: Jeanette

I starting having the pain described by others here when I had a custom orthotic adjusted. The arch was adjusted too high and caused a searing pain along the top of my foot. Here is what helped me:
I had a chiropractor adjust my feet. It was super painful, but the relief was almost immediate. It didn't go away completely, but was so much easier to handle. I have since had my foot adjusted 3 times and it gets better every time.
I elevate and ice the foot as much as I can. I try to leave my foot flat, opposite of pointing my toe, while icing to keep the tendon in the most relaxed position.
It has been 2 months since the pain started, and now it is less frequent and less severe. I can swim and bike again. It gets better everyday.

Sep 23, 2017
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Just like me
by: Kevin

Hi having what sounds like much the same problem. Nothing to see, but when I point my toes/ straighten them to put on socks etc get a sharp pain on outer side of big toe, discussed and examined by my GP last week and could find no reason for it. Just going to wait it out and see what happens.

Sep 22, 2017
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I've had this twice... good news!
by: Janet

So the first time I had this... it really worried me and it was quite painful. Months passed and it eventually dissipated. Then it showed up again. This time I decided to just mellow out and see what happened. Again, a few months passed and it went away on its own. If it shows up again, I will be annoyed a bit but I'm happy it's not permanent! :)

Sep 21, 2017
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Same thing but more symptoms
by: Bill K

I too have the big toe pain, sharp like a knife when I bend my foot down to put on my pants. Very painful. But also have slight numbness and tingling across my toes and my baby toe feels like it's asleep. I also have pain in I push down on the ball of my foot. Time for a Doctor?

Sep 17, 2017
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Good news is the pain is getting better with time!
by: Anonymous

I posted here back in June about me and my husband both having this sharp toe pain. Since then we have both been careful to avoid stretching the tendon along the top of the foot (i.e., extending the foot and the toe at the same time). And for both of us, the toe pain is almost gone! We'll continue to try and avoid that particular kind of stretching, and hope it never comes back again!

Sep 16, 2017
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Looking for answers to extreme toe pain
by: Sheila

I have read all the posts here and can't believe how similar these symptoms are to mine. I woke up one morning last week and was fine but 10 minutes later my left toe started hurting really bad. I couldn't walk very well and if I accidentally bent it down it felt like I had just broken it. It's now been a week. I've tried gout medicine, anti-inflammatory, rest, upping my Neuronton and nothing is working. The pain hasn't gotten worse or any better. It also feels slightly numb and if i touch the top of my foot along the same tendon that goes to my big toe it is very painful as well.

Aug 19, 2017
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Tip to help with this pain
by: Paul

I developed this pain in my left big toe ia few months ago. I discovered that it was aggravated if I slept on my back with straight legs and my right ankle resting on top of my left. I stopped doing that and it got better after a couple of months. The irony is that I had started resting my left ankle on top of my right and now I developed the same pain in my right toe. So I've stopped crossing my ankles at all when lying on my back. Hopefully my right toe will also heal after a couple of months.

As well as not crossing my feet in bed (or when lying on the sofa etc) I also avoided stretching the top of my left foot and this helped too.

Hope that helps. Maybe I'm the only one that crosses his ankles but I doubt it :-)

Jul 17, 2017
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Update to my May 21st post--Getting better!
by: Anonymous

I discovered something I hope will be helpful to the rest of you suffering with this baffling pain.

After my comment on May 21st, the pain continued to increase, even with the use of anti inflammatories. By mid June, the tendon to my big toe was so inflamed that it hurt to the touch from toe to ankle. This ended up being a good thing though.

By massaging the area where the tendons on the top of my foot connect to the ankle/shin I could now cause the stabbing pain in my toe without having to point the foot down. It seemed to me that the source of the problem could be there, and not in the toe.

I began icing the front of my ankle daily where the tendons of the top of the foot meet the shin. I also stopped trying to stretch out the foot and made a huge effort not to point it down at all if I could possibly help it, and I took a break from yoga.

That helped. I'm feeling much better now and can do yoga again, carefully and have even been able to sit back on my heels and do child's pose some days.

The pain is not completely gone, but is much less than last month. I am very careful not to aggravate it and to ice the front of my ankle when it flares up, but I am continuing to slowly improve.

Jul 14, 2017
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I have this problem, too!
by: Nadia

I have been having this exact issue for about two months now as well.
I'm a 29 year old Type 1 Diabetic. I stay active to keep my glucose in check. I've never had this issue before, but since aging and diabetes have their affects, I figure this may be some related to nerve pain/ disorder.
I will be seeing my endocrinologist in about a week to ask for input.

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Ask your endocrinologist for a referral to a foot specialist, you will get a better answer.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jul 14, 2017
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Same problem. Please help!
by: Andrew

I had this exact same thing start happening to me a couple of weeks ago. I'm a 40 year old male and reasonably good health. Whenever I point my foot, particularly if I curl my toe at the same time, I get the sharp shooting pain on the top inside of my big toe. If anyone learns the cause of this, please share it. Thank you.

Jul 11, 2017
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Me too!
by: Tami

I too have been experiencing this excruciating pain for the last several months. I find it hard to believe this is the first time doctors are hearing about it and they don't have any answers. However, no-one seems to be able to say what's causing it or how to relieve it.
If anyone finds the answer, please share with the rest of us.
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Please go to the original post on this topic. You will find my response to these symptoms.
We as foot specialists see this problem all the time, however, it can be caused for different reasons, so there is no "one size fits all" answer.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jul 09, 2017
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Sharp and burning pain in my foot
by: Kurt

I'm 19 years old. I also woke up with excruciating pain in my left foot. I even went to the ER because I was in so much pain. I got an x-ray the doctor said it looks fine. I'm really upset about this because it's hard to walk. I can't cycle anymore, I can't go to the gym, I can't skate, I can't enjoy a walk on the beach without having to stop and sit down from the pain. I am being prescribed Ibuprofen and it hasn't been helping for the past 2 weeks. I'm losing hope and I think this is all making me depressed.
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Why not make an appointment with a foot specialist who is more familiar with the pathology of the foot and should be able to afford you some relief beyond recommending ibuprofen.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 27, 2017
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Toe pain, like a needle going in
by: Paula

Great to find this thread - I'm experiencing the same searing pain when I extend my big toe on the left foot. It doesnt sound like turf toe as that points to pain under the toe, this is right along the top edge and doesnt appear muscular as its a stinging pain, not the duller pain that an upset muscle makes. I'm 60, dont exercise much, just a gentle jog most mornings so cant think of any exercise related movement that might have caused this. Also if I stretch it gently but repeatedly it seems to ease as abate for a while. I've been ignoring it as it doesnt hurt when jogging or at any other time - just when I do my ballet (kidding). I'll go to the doc and see what he says. Good luck to you all.

Jun 25, 2017
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Exactly what I'm having also
by: Charlie

This is exactly what I'm experiencing also. It's only when the foot is extended as you said. I had strained my lower right back muscle a couple of months back a day it still on occasion gets tight or sore. I don't feel like this is associated with that but maybe it is. My toe from the base to the knuckle is numb most of the time now. Would love to know what it is.

Jun 22, 2017
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I can relate!
by: S.ann

Hello,everyone. I've recently started having a very similar experience with my big toe! When I stretch and point, or curl under my big toe I experience an excruciating swift "slicing" inside my toe! It is completely interior, as if the end of my toe bone is moving through the flesh. Terrible pain. But there is no discoloration, no swelling, no bleeding. No seeming trauma. But it's the strangest, most acute and alarming sensation one can imagine.

I haven't had a recent injury to my foot or toe nor other so am totally perplexed about this phenomenon. This thread is the first information I have found that even approximates my experience! What in the world IS this?

Jun 22, 2017
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Both my husband and I have this pain now!
by: Anonymous

Just in the past few weeks, both of us have this very sharp pain when extending the big toe. His is his right big toe and mine is my left big toe. We have both been dealing with low back/ hip pain issues, and mine just started after a few chiropractic adjustments. I've searched online and this seems to be the only place people are talking about this... how strange! Mine feels like a needle piercing through my skin. He describes his as more of a sharp hangnail type pain. And it's only when both the ankle joint and toe joint are extended at the same time. Stretching it slowly seems to make it feel better, but I'm reluctant to do that because it could be aggravating an inflamed nerve. Some commenters on here are saying it can get worse over time or result in permanent nerve damage. Others say it goes away with time. I can no longer sit on the floor with my legs tucked under me (Hero pose in Yoga). I wish I had some answers, but I don't.

Jun 15, 2017
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Hi Marc, thanks for your reply! Yes, I will bring this up with my doctor and potentially make another podiatrist appointment as well.

Jun 12, 2017
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Toe Pain
by: Anonymous

Wow, I can't believe I found this thread! I figured this was the beginning of something serious, but after reading through these responses it seems to be some kind of injury that just needs time to heal. I noticed several days ago that when I stretch my foot downward and point my toes (as a ballerina would) a searing burning pain shot over the top side of my big toe. I tried several times thinking it was just stiff, but each time I flexed my foot downward.....OUCH! This morning I noticed the pain was slightly less, and I can actually point my toes downward without jumping out of my skin! I think it's healing up and getting better. 👍🏼 I'm wondering if it has something to do with the shoes I recently bought which, when I walked and the shoes bent, created a stiff crease across the top of my toes. The crease is much more flexible and soft now, so maybe that's why my toe is better. Weird thing to have to google, but happy to read all these testimonies and know I'm not alone!

Jun 08, 2017
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Update
by: Sean Y.

To update everyone, I went to the doctor and got an x-ray and ultrasound (I live in Canada so this was free). The doc said the ultrasound looked good, no soft tissue damage, but the x-ray indicated that I have arthritis in my big toe, and the inflammation of the arthritis was compressing a nerve.

She told me to take Tylenol Arthritis for a couple of weeks to see if that would bring down the inflammation. I thought about it, but that didn't make sense because Tylenol Arthritis only has acetaminophen, which is not anti-inflammatory. I talked to a pharmacist and a walk-in doctor, and they both said Advil Arthritis would be better. I've been taking that for a week with no effect.

When I follow up with my family doctor, I will tell her the OTC arthritis medication did nothing. She indicated that if they don't work, I will get a "nerve conduction study". I'm kind of worried that this will be permanent! Will keep everyone posted.
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Why not consider a cortisone injection in the painful area? A nerve conduction study is not really going to give much useful information. If the nerve is entrapped (because you have neurological symptoms) you already know where the nerve damage is located. Your time would be better spent trying to remedy the problem rather then confirm what is already known.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 04, 2017
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Foot pain
by: Stephanie

I've had the same sharp pulling pain when I stretched my foot in my middle toe for about a month. Now the pain moved to the big toe. The entire time iv had a mild to moderate burning sensation in my shin's. I do have 3 pinched nerves in my neck and I will be getting an injection on the 27th. My dr said it could possibly be hurting due to my neck or maybe pinched nerves in my lower back but I'll have to have another MRI done for the lower back.

May 30, 2017
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Me too
by: Eric

Clarifying that it is not the bending of the toe but the bending of the foot downwards. I'm about 3 weeks in, have had mild gout in past but don't feel it is related as I'm familiar with those causes symptoms and pains

May 22, 2017
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Same pain in the toe
by: Marty

I have the same pain on top of my right big toe just below the nail when I extend my leg and foot and then curl my toes downward....yikes.
I am thinking of trying the cortizone shot...will keep you informed...

May 21, 2017
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Downward Toe
by: Loretta

This has been an interesting thread. Nice to know I'm not alone. Mine came on after I stubbed the crap out of my right big toe stepping forward out of downward dog while doing yoga. It's been gradually getting worse for the last month,though I can stretch it out and be okay for a while.I think it might be extensor tendonitis since I have no pain to the touch anywhere on the foot and no pain or aching in the arch as is seen with Medial Plantar Nerve Entrapment. Still, the exercises for that look worth trying, and very similar to what I have done for the plantar fasciitis I've had off and on for years in same foot. It could be a combination of the two for me, so I'm not completely discounting the MPNE. Has anyone else had plantar fasciitis in the foot with the toe problem?

May 15, 2017
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Tearing big toe pain and numbness
by: Sean Y.

Hi all, just wanted to add that I am experiencing something similar and will go to the doctor about it soon. Basically when I point my left foot downward and bend my toes, I get a sharp tearing pain on top of my big toe at the joint, as well as along the side. When I stop bending my toe it goes away. I doesn't bother me in day to day life except when I bend my foot/toe in that way, like when I'm taking off and putting on shoes.

I went to a podiatrist a few days ago, and he thought it might be tendonitis. However when he asked the time whether I was experiencing tingling/numbness, I said no.

Just over the last couple of days, I have noticed a definite numbness in my toe, in exactly the places where I feel pain when I bend it (top of the joint and along the side between the joint and the knuckle). It's kind of disturbing as I've never experienced this kind of numbness before, except in regular cases like when I sit too long and my leg falls asleep.

I haven't done anything differently over the last month, and I've been wearing most of my shoes for a long time. Nothing rubs badly against my toe.

A few weeks ago my 2 year-old drove the wheel of his toy play car over my toe, which hurt a lot at the time, but I'm not sure if that's related to this.

I figure it has to be some sort of nerve issue. Will update if the doc(s) come to a conclusion!

Apr 05, 2017
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Wow
by: Heather

What a trip that this happens to other people! I went to Luxembourg for Xmas and while I was there I bought some boots. On the flight back, for the first time ever, my feet got swollen, and of course I was wearing m new boots. Ever since, if I point my feet and toes downward, it feels like the tops of my big toes are being pulled apart. It's subsided a bit after three months, but now the outsides of both big toes have gone kind of numb. 🤔🤔

Mar 17, 2017
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Big toe pain
by: Leslie

I started having the same thing, first in the right toe. Now it's both feet. I read up on "Turf Toe", and I believe this is what it is. Thanks for all of these posts. I was beginning to think that I was the only one.....

Mar 12, 2017
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Stupid toe
by: JG

Can't believe so many people have this problem but when I try and explain it to any one I know I get the "huh?" look. Like many, I noticed it when putting on my pants one morning about a month ago. I've had some pretty bad back problems that, looking back, seem to maybe run more parallel to this toe issue than I realized. Gonna mention it to my chiropractor this week and see if there's anything he may want to change in my current regimen to address this. I'm gonna try and remember to post back my progress for others. It's okay, you're not crazy!

Mar 07, 2017
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Same thing
by: Debbie

I have had the exact same thing happened to me where I stretched in bed and felt like my tendon was ripping off my toe. I now have severe pain when I point my foot down and flex my big toe. I'm still looking for answers

Feb 24, 2017
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Sounds like Turf Toe
by: Sean

Woke up this morning with pretty much the exact same situation. Had a good run the night before but didn't notice anything until this morning. Hurts when walking and trying to stretch out my foot and calf. Sounds a lot like turf toe as described here:
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/turf-toe-symptoms-causes-and-treatments#1

and here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatarsophalangeal_joint_sprain

hope this helps.

Feb 11, 2017
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big toe pain
by: Fred

The big toe on my left foot burns and aches like fire when I move it, jolt it or when I rub the left side of the lower leg it stimulates the very lower joint of my toe to burn and ache like fire?? I have been diagnosed with gout, but take medication and keep it at bay, this pain seems different to me. Does this sound like gout??
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It does not sound like gout. It possibly could be a nerve entrapment occurring further up in the lower leg, possibly just below the knee joint.
Why not see a doctor?

Marc Mitnick DPM

Dec 19, 2016
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Similar issue but not big toe
by: Vicki

I' am experiencing very similar symptoms but it's not my big toe but the top of my foot. Where the foot joins the leg - when I point my toes with a straight leg (no pain when I point them with a bent leg) I have excruciating shooting pains - literally makes me jump.
I also have a bruise on the top/side of my foot but I've not hurt my foot.
I have tronchenteric bursitis in my right hip and have been having physio /acupuncture.
What is it? Should I go to hospital for X-ray?

Dec 05, 2016
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My update
by: Kevin

I last posted here Oct29,15 and since then things have evolved a bit. I went to a neurologist and was diagnosed with neuropathy in both feet with no known cause. It all started with intense shooting pain only in left big toe when I stretched out my ankle(same as OP).. that turned into a constant lesser pain and numbness, and now I have hot spots all over both feet the worst being in both outer heels just below the ankle bone, left middle toe, and both big toes. If I walk around for more than an hour or so my lower legs will swell up really bad... Most days there is a constant burning in both feet (like the soles were slapped by a 2x4)and when I step it feels like I have Legos in my shoes. Some days are really bad, bringing tears to a grown mans eyes. I bought EEEE shoes and they have helped a little, and numbing creams can help too, along with pain meds. I'm only 39, and it gets worse seemingly every day. I should note that I was in a career ending car accident in 2012 that did damage to my spine. It's good to see that some of you got better... I'm holding out hope that mine will too. Unfortunately my primary care Dr is not at all proactive and just told me to "report to my pain clinic". frustrating but I don't have any other primary care options since Obama Care, so I'm stuck with him.

Dec 03, 2016
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I now have the same pain in the top outside of my big toe and slighter on the other side. Was told Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome
by: Mike

I now have the same pain in the top outside of my big toe and slighter on the other side. Was told Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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Would not be so sure about tarsal tunnel as that condition affects the nerves on the bottom of the foot, while your pain is on top of the foot.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Nov 21, 2016
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All toes
by: Dianne

I have the pain on the top on most of my toes when I stretch them. Normally I notice inthe morning. Then I went swimming and noticed the pain when I kicked.

Sep 08, 2016
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I have it too
by: Suzanne

I have the same issue. It is either pirformis syndrome, sciatica, or herniated disk. I have pirformis syndrome and have for 10 years. Just recently after doing squating in my aerobics classes, I now have numbness, and pain in my toe when pointing it. I have been told to do stretches, NSaids for inflammation and ice/hot packs. Your doctor can advice you.

Aug 23, 2016
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Pain Went Away in Four Months
by: Steve

I had the exact same thing in my big toe, and it finally went away after about four months on its own.

Aug 22, 2016
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Same here.
by: Adina

My pain started last fall/early winter, I think, on top of my right foot. I particularly noticed it every-time I went to put on my running shoes. It lasted a couple months before disappearing and ended up in my big toe. I could reproduce the pain (which felt to me like an electric shock) by laying down, straightening my leg, bending my toes down and lifting my leg upward towards the ceiling (not bending at the knee). Whatever it is, it resulted in permanent numbness along the outer edge of my big toe, and weakness. I can no longer bend that toe very well. After the pain dissipated (it slowly got better over a period of 2 or 3 months), I had the same pain in the back of my heel, and then my index finger. It was the same thing as the toe. When I'd extend my arm out straight and lift my finger upwards, I would get the shooting electric shock type pain. That also lasted a couple months. No noticeable weakness resulted in my finger though, thankfully.
I sure hope someone can get a proper diagnosis and report back here. It's incredible so many people have the same thing, and yet no diagnosis that really explains it. I'm sure it's something to do with the nerves though. I also have near constant muscle twitches, and burning pain (like acid) under my skin in my legs mostly, and some peroneal nerve dysfunction was found in my left leg after a nerve conduction study.

Aug 15, 2016
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Same Problem
by: Darlene

I have the same problem in big toe on left foot and pinkey finger on my right hand. When I move both downward a certain way it is burning and hurting feeling. Haven't been to doctors. I am 58 years old I am good health I thought. Don't take medicine and I have been active. I did just get diagnose with psoriasis this year but had lot two deaths in my family, I guess. I guess I am going into doctors see what happens.

Aug 09, 2016
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Pain on both big toes when legs are stretches and toes pointed down
by: Vusi

Hi averyone,Im 43 yrs old.I have been experiencing the same pain on both feet especially on my right foot for the past 2-3 months in as much I thought its new shoes I bought couple of months back.The shoes were a bit tight I thought they have damaged a nerve or vein so I gave them away but the pain hasnt gone away.I have tested my sugar level for diabetes and researched about gout symptoms but their symptoms differ from this.Its scaring me and I havent told anyone nor my Dr about this.Anyone with a remedy can help us,it will be highly appreciated.

Aug 09, 2016
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Clayton RA
by: Paul

Hi Clayton

I've posted here several times over a year ago. I too, have RA.
I had same thing on my left big toe. But it went completely after kicking legs in pool. I thought that was it. However it returned on my R foot, after tieing the lace on my boat shoes ( that must of crossed over a nerve close to surface of foot) I haven't swam as much as I like at the moment so it's still here. What I must say I am very sensitive to pain, and steam out at the slightest. I wondered if it was anything to do with RA meds and pain relief drugs. What meds are you on? Wonder if there's a connection?

Regards Paul

Aug 08, 2016
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Same problem
by: Clayton

Hi. I have had a numbness down the sides of my big toes and when bending my right toes down a pain like a knife slicing or acid burning down the side of the big toe that about put me through my ceiling from the terrible pain that happens when bending it down. It has been going on for 3 or so months now but after I force myself through the pain by purposely bending it down and stretching it during the day make it a bit better but is a daily problem. I have RA and diabetes and found out about both in the last 2 years but have not talked to either of my Drs about this issue yet but am interested in any answers on the web. If I get any answers that will help you I will be more than happy to let you know and I wish you the very best for any answers that help you.

Jun 16, 2016
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Same Situation Exactly
by: Mickey

I hope this helps somebody...I have been having this exact same issue as described--- a bad, sharp, burst of pain felt suddenly in my toe when foot points a certain way, most specifically when it stretches or points down /extends(away)...it's worse when my leg is straight. After a lot of research, an ex-ray, blood test, and speaking with 3 doctors including a podiatrist I know what this is for me. I am a very active 42 year old runner, coach...I am personally experiencing the beginnings of arthritis. Perhaps from wear and tear, and/or untreated traumas/minor injuries that can cause calcium to build; and this slight structural adjustment is compressing a nerve that runs along the side/top of the foot. A cortisone injection, wide enough shoes, surgery if really bad to shave the bone back, seeing a doctor are my recommendations.

Jun 14, 2016
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Big Toe Pain
by: Wayne

Severe sharp pain down side of toe when pointing toe down and stretching my foot
by: Anonymous

I have been experiencing exactly the same problem for weeks now. It's the strangest thing and I was that desperate to get rid of it I read one of the comments that suggested pointing my toe down and stretching through the pain. I can't believe it done the trick. Thank you! The pain was that much of a shock you're first instinct is to stop pointing your toe down and stretching your foot. I'm no doctor but it worked for me :-)

I also had the same issue and followed the above advice, couldn't believe it but it also worked for me! Thank you Anonymous!

Jun 07, 2016
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same here
by: Anonymous

I have the exact same thing going on with my Big toe. I think I overexerted through multiple different types of physical activity 2 weeks ago, but it only hurts when I point my foot and toe downward. If my foot at 90 degrees to my ankle, I can point my toe all day. When i point my foot and toe, its exactly the same, excruciating, shock like pain. I have no answers, but i guess I will take a break from any running or jumping activities for a few weeks or until it goes away.

Jun 05, 2016
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Pain when pointing toe and leg straight
by: Jlov

The pain in my right big toe started a few weeks ago. It only hurts when my leg is straight and I point my foot downward. When I bend my knee (thanks to previous posts I compared the difference) it does not hurt at all. Thinking its time to see a chiropractor

Jun 05, 2016
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New pain now
by: Anonymous

months after my toe pain went away, the other day while working out i felt a sharp pain to the left of my heel and forward a bit, right in line with the pain i was having with my toe. Same issue as before where it only hurts when bending my foot downwards of it i bend forward with straight legs to touch my toes/stretch my hamstrings

Jun 04, 2016
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In response to Linnie from Norway
by: Sore toe in Minnesota

Norwegian experiencing the same thing
by: Linnie
Linnie, thanks for your post. I thought my problem was just on my big toe right above my nail cuticle. When I started pressing the side of my foot, similar to your experience, I found the same hot spot that caused pain all the way to my big toe. My Dr. had dismissed this as nothing significant. I'm glad I can now start following treatments for anterior tibial tendonitis.

Jun 03, 2016
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Sudden burning pain in last big toe joint
by: Anonymous

I also had a sudden onset of a burning, tingling pain when I extend my big toe and foot downward. Had an MRI thinking it was a partial tendon tear...came back negative. I think it is a nerve issue, but not sure where the cause is. Going back to the Podiatrist for a follow up. Icing and stretching have not worked.

May 31, 2016
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It has gone away, yes there is hope
by: Joe

I posted back on Feb 28, I believe and this injury had started in early January. In the early phases of this injury (first couple of weeks) I believe ice water did help reduce some of the inflammation that surrounded my trauma to the foot. The ice water works because it surrounds the foot, reduces inflammation, applied for 15mins, though not comfortable.

Following this, I attempted to be careful to not aggravate the condition by pointing foot and big toe down as often as possible and maintaining big toe extention if I moved to plantar flexion (toe up while ankle pointing down) OR maintaining ankle dorsiflexion if the toe was plantarflexed. (ankle up and toe pointing down)

In early March, I began placing my foot in hot/warm water to assist in the circulation to facilitate healing to the area. I kept it in there about 15mins and really only did it a couple times. I think once the inflammation/redness was down, the warm water really helped the healing.

By the end of April the symptoms had gone away! Halleujah. It did take roughly 5 months for this to go away completely. I could tell it was not as intense a pain and was only around the big toe joints about 3.5 months following the injury. However it was occasionally still aggravated.

I still believe it was a superficial mylein injury to the nerve innervating the top of the foot/big toe. I have since bought foot protection for my taekwondo class.


May 31, 2016
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Severe sharp pain down side of toe when pointing toe down and stretching my foot
by: Anonymous

I have been experiencing exactly the same problem for weeks now. It's the strangest thing and I was that desperate to get rid of it I read one of the comments that suggested pointing my toe down and stretching through the pain. I can't believe it done the trick. Thank you! The pain was that much of a shock you're first instinct is to stop pointing your toe down and stretching your foot. I'm no doctor but it worked for me :-)

May 26, 2016
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try chiropractic
by: Brian

My foot pain was relieved the first day i went to a chiropractor. They cracked my neck, and lower back pretty good, and suddenly that pain of pointing my tow downward went away completely. I must have had a kinked nerve up the spinal chord (or something that was freed). I have had no pain since (4 months). But it was certainly no gout, as some have written, and my doctor was way wrong, in telling me it was "degenerative arthritis."

May 20, 2016
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Severe pain/burn
by: Military

I read these comments and came to the conclusion it was a nerve in my ankle. I took it upon myself to stretch ankle as much as possible. Then shook leg as fast and hard as I could with my ankle loose with no tension. Immediately afterward I stretched my foot down and pushed as hard as I could. The burn/pain gone. I did shake my foot and leg pretty violently so do what you wish with yourS. Mine worked. NO PAIN WITH ALL TO GAIN.

May 03, 2016
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Ballerina Toe ?
by: Barbie

My left foot big toe has been a bit numb for years. I put this down to nerve damage from years of point work in ballet. I was not surprised when I had shooting pain along the top of the same toe, spreading up on top of foot, when I pointed my foot. I massage and ice and wear my ortho shoes and some days no pain, others pain. Have you done ballet, stubbed your toe badly, worn tight shoes, had sports injury to big toe. I believe it can all result in nerve damage which can out of the blue many years later manifest itself with this shocking pain. Our big toes take so much abuse!

Apr 26, 2016
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Mine stopped
by: Anonymous

Hi all,
I posted back in September last year, I have rested and tried to avoid the over stretching of the foot, I did take ibuprofen but not at regular intervals, my pain has now gone but I get a clicking/ cracking sound in the area the pain was.
I don't believe this is gout more a tendon problem, I've been about 2 months now with no pain, I also changed my boots but just recently went back to my old ones, so if it comes back I'll ditch the boots!!!
Good luck everyone
Merv

Apr 25, 2016
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answer about back problems..
by: Anonymous

ive had to get my lower back and hips readjusted at the chiropractors a few times over the last 5 years because of my work pops my hips out of place sometimes

Apr 25, 2016
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Nerve damage
by: Anonymous

My GP told me it was nerve damage, in the upper foot similar to carpel tunnel.

Apr 24, 2016
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possible connection to the back
by: Anonymous

do any of you have or had a lower back problem in the last few months or years?

Apr 03, 2016
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Toe pain
by: Anonymous

Hi Stephanie, Mark is correct. Your problem will be caused by damage or inflammation to a nerve. I don't know which nerve but I am 99% sure this is the problem. I have had the same symptom in the thumb on my left hand..The doctor has told me to massage it with an anti inflammatory gel such as voltaren. So far it is not helping and guess what ..... yesterday I experienced the same pain in the big toe on my left foot while putting my socks on. Bummer!

Apr 01, 2016
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Same here!!
by: Anonymous

I have this pain when I sit with my legs underneath me or when I try to put trousers on and have to stretch my whole leg! Really starting to get me down as the pain seems to be getting worse over the weeks to the point where I have a slight burning sensation in my big toe now most days. I'm an active 30 year old who doesn't have any problems anywhere else. I'm thinking maybe a trapped nerve??

Mar 23, 2016
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