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Sudden sharp stabbing pain in the top of one foot

by Bob F.
(Los Angeles, Ca.)

I'm a 49 yr old male. 5'6" & 165lbs. In very good health. I exercise 3-4 times a week and do good deal of walking as a part of my job.


After several years in absence last night I was revisited by a very familiar pain. Suddenly and without warning I get a sharp stabbing pain dead center in the top of my left foot. It is a world stopping pain. It will last from a second or two to up to a full minute. This comes in episodes ..... last night the pains came once or twice an hour throughout the night. These episodes last from a few hours to several days. Day or night.... morning or evening make no difference.

Years ago I thought it was related to bad shoes. So I bought the best. No effect..... Many doctors & x-rays later it was thought it might be diet related .....a deficiency in potassium. So I ate a banana a day. The results were mixed. Much exercise along with vitamin and mineral supplements were of little help. After a time it simply went away.

Now it has returned. There have been no changes in diet, activity level or anything.

I fear I'll be walking down a hall and simply collapse form this pain out of the blue. What could this be?

Hi Bob,
I am not trying to pass the buck here but a very sharp pain like you are experiencing is difficult to diagnose without actually examining you.
When people describe sharp stabbing pain the first thought is a Mortons's neuroma. This would occur in the part of the foot just behind the toes, usually the third and fourth toe.
If that is where your pain is then you can read my section on Morton's neuroma, if that is not where the pain is originating from then I think a another visit to a podiatrist would be indicated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Sudden sharp stabbing pain in the top of one foot

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Dec 10, 2017
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Shooting and Sharp Stabbing Pain in the top of left foot
by: Frances

I also experienced these intense sharp shooting, stabbing pain on the top of my left foot, behind the 3rd and 4th toes. The pain would wake me up in the middle of the night. I did tried Tylenol III with Codeine but to no avail. It only gave me nasty sight effects. Am taking 1 capsule of Gabapentin 300 mg in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. This is to prevent muscle spasm on my stomach, thighs and cramps on my legs. I still get the pain on my left foot. But if I take 2 Ibuprofen and .025 mg of Alprazolam, I felt relieved within 2 to 3 hours. The top of the foot is served by a different nerve path and not the sciatic. Therefore, in my opinion the pain is causing by anxiety disorders or nerve disorders. There is no bones or muscles involved. Currently am seeing a doctor regarding this problem. I am 69 years old female and I have diabetes and hypertension.

Nov 09, 2017
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consider piriformis
by: Katy

Have had experience with this localized sudden very sharp foot pain. In my case, it moves a bit between being central and off towards base of 4th toe.
Many people have recommended many different things-- but in the thread I didn't find anyone suggest to look into tightness in buttock muscles on that side, to the degree that the foot pain is almost a 'travelling' nerve pain, a sciatica of sorts.
When I do my exercises for piriformis syndrome, it all settles down.

Easiest one of all is to put a tennis ball inside a sock; hold the upper end of the sock in left hand, and lean your backside against a wall and slowly, gently roll against the ball, feeling into finding sore spots in the buttock, and 'hang out' there with a little pressure. Take your time; don't rush. When you step away from the wall and walk, there's a loosening in the whole leg. Good luck, all! Keep learning.

Oct 19, 2017
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Wow, I didn't expect to find anybody with this
by: Billy

It just started for me last night - (10-18-2017). I just get a random sharp localized pain in the top, almost center of my foot like it's being stabbed. It last a second or two and then stops for a few seconds to a few minutes and then does it again. It'll do this a few times until it stops. I then went hours today without it happening and then it happened 4 or 5 times. It stopped for two hours and I just had it happen again a few times and now it stopped again. So weird.

Sep 24, 2017
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These are my exact symptoms
by: Kathy

So many have described my symptoms. Last week for the second time since January I had a sharp pain in the top of my foot. It felt like a sharp hot object was stuck in my foot. It would last about 30 second s to a minute. It came in waves through the the night. I could not sleep . The next day I had some episodes but not that sharp and long. I haven’t been to a doctor because I don’t know what kind to go to.
Thank you so much for your comments. Any more suggestions would be appreciated.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Your best option would be to see a podiatrist.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Sep 13, 2017
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Pain at top of foot but only when touched
by: Sandie

I woke one night with an excruciating pain at the top of my right foot, I couldn't locate where it was at first as I prodded and poked to find where it was and there was nothing, it then woke me again in the night as I brushed my foot across the sheet - this was a light touch of the sheet and it caused this awful pain. Over a few weeks I began to find the location and if I stroke the top of the foot there is a point where there is an intense pain radiating to the 2nd toe. Ive now noticed when I walk barefoot there is a tingling sensation from my heel to the under side of the big toe. any suggestions welcome

Sep 10, 2017
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Problem Solved (I think)
by: Will

Been having occasional mild foot pain spikes for the past year or two. I'm a 52 y/o male in pretty good shape. First thought it was poor circulation. Then just in the past few days, the pain level got jacked up to about an 8 on a 1-10 scale where 10 is a severe charley horse leg cramp. Ultimately I discovered that the pain wasn't a completely random occurrence. It could be triggered by stretching my leg or pressing down on the top of my foot. That's when I made the connection to tightness in the calf muscle. Finally I connected the pieces and realized this was brought on by a new exercise routine I started called the A40 for men 40 and over. You can google the YouTube videos. Ironically, I switched from doing just basic crunches to the A40 because I heard crunches can cause neck and back injuries.

Sep 09, 2017
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Short sharp pain to top right foot
by: Gerry

Yesterday I started having short sharp and intense pain in top of right foot, only lasts about 3-5 seconds. I had three or four episodes yesterday, the same through the night, and a couple this morning (UK). Good to hear all the comments, gives some idea of causes, if this persists I will have see my GP to try and get a diagnosis.

Jul 27, 2017
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Wow!
by: Jan

Today I was standing minding my own business in the kitchen when all of a sudden I felt like someone had dropped a hot poker right down the middle of my left foot. I have NEVER felt that intense pain ever in my life. (Even after giving birth 3 times) It almost knocked me over. It only lasted for a few seconds only to return again for 1 last blow. Its good to read these posts and know that Im not losing my mind!! I am now afraid to even walk on it....ugh

Jun 25, 2017
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Top of Left foot stabbing pain
by: Terry

I went to Podiatrist and got xrays. The doctor said nothing seen on xrays other than a bone spur on bottom of my heel. He said very common and not causing my pain. He said it could be a ligament or tendon issue. (Soft tissue issue) is the way he put it. Was told to buy power step insoles online and stretches several times a week to keeps feet loosened up. I will say the stabbing pain when I bump my foot is still there. I guess I will just have to be careful not to bump anything in that spot forever. Other than that my foot is feeling better. Good luck with your issues. Hope this helps someone.

Jun 20, 2017
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Nerve Pain
by: Anonymous

I posted awhile back about the horrific ice pick pain in my feet and like some here I also have back pain as well. The jabbing pains in my foot have been gone for some time now. However even though I am not diabetic I've been tested for neuropathy in my feet and ankles and it was positive. I continued to have generalized foot and ankle pain for several years now for unknown reasons. I recently discovered a medication I took for an ear infection was being accused of being the cause for neuropathy in some people. I remembered when I was taking it I was having strange pains in my ankles at the time but thought nothing in relationship to the medication. The medication I took was Cipro and there are lawsuits concerning it and some other like drugs. Anyone here having pain taken it I wondeer?

Jun 20, 2017
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Voodoo Dorsal Syndrome part 2
by: Anonymous

Just an update to let you all know my podiatrist found that I had reduced nerve sensation in the same foot I used to have stabbing pain. He's not sure why but he thinks it may have something to do with my spondylolisthesis. Have your doctor use a 256 hertz tuning fork on both feet to see if you have this, too. It could be an important clue to what causes this condition. Still no stabbing pain but almost everyday I feel a sensation in the exact spot it used to be in.

Jun 08, 2017
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HAPPY AGAIN
by: Donna

I HAVE NOT HAD ANY ELECTRIC STABBING PAIN ON TOP OF MY RIGHT FOOT FOR MONTHS NOW. I RETIRED AND ONLY WEAR SHOES WHEN I GO OUT NOW. HAPPY RETIREMENT AND HAPPY FOOT!!!!

Jun 07, 2017
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Sharp stabbing burning pain - Top of Foot
by: Daniel

Wow, I have been having a similar pain as most on this thread. Excruciating sudden pain on the top of foot, almost directly between toe 4 and my ankle.

I am 32, and have always stayed active. Not the best diet, but not terrible. This started for me about 3 months ago. I have had several injuries, from broken bones, torn cartilage in knee as well as torn ACL in the same right knee. I have always had a tolerance for pain, at least I thought until this. The pain I am having is in the right foot as well. I know I have nerve damage from the knee surgeries, as the outer part of my right leg has been numb since. However, the surgeries were over 10 yrs ago, and I have never had numbness or pain in my foot. It has plagued my life, causing less sleep and a constant worry about it hitting me. When this first started, like others, it hit and lasted for a few seconds up to a minute, then would stop as instantly as it started. Then several minutes later, BAM!! Here we go again. Then suddenly, without change to diet, exercise, or changing footwear, it completely disappeared for about 2 or 3 weeks. No pain, it seemed to be over....

Then, out of nowhere, while playing with my 4 yr old, there it was. That terrible, tear jerking, gut wrenching pain of a dull ice pick in the top of my foot again. But it is worse now. I didn't think it could possibly get worse, boy was I wrong. It came back with a vengeance!!!

Not only that, now I am having a similar, yet more of burning pain in my right hand. This is in the palm, below my middle finger. Instead of an ice pick, it feels more like a giant wasp sting, or a big needle injecting a burning sensation.

With both, they hit suddenly, last for no more than a minute, and are excruciating! Did this happen with any of you? Or did it stay in your feet? Or does anyone think they are/aren't related? If any other posters return and have answers as to what this may be, I would love to hear it.

Jun 05, 2017
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Top of Left foot stabbing pain
by: Terry

I am 46 and walk a lot for work. I usually wear a good shoe with memory foam. I have started noticing a bad stabbing pain on the top of my left foot only when it bumps something. I can wear a sandal and if it pushes on top of my foot just in that spot it almost makes my eyes water from the pain. My foot isn't swollen and or red. Going to podiatrist soon to maybe get trays and maybe get some answers. I have read some of these posts and I think from a previous doctors visit 6 months ago, I do have high potassium as well as low vitamin D. I will reply with outcome or doctors comments in a week or two from now.

May 07, 2017
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Deficiency in vitamin D
by: Pam

In my post earlier this year I describe the foot pain I was experiencing. A blood test showed vitamin D deficiency. I am now on prescription strength Vit D. 50,000 units per week. The pain has completely disappeared I have just read that Vit D deficiency can cause shooting nerve pain. I believe it is the Vit D deficiency which caused the pain in my case

May 03, 2017
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Is stabbing pain in top of foot a gout issue?
by: Fred

I am a 70 year old male in good shape but I suffered earlier gout attacks in my left ankle. I stopped taking my allopurinol 5 yrs ago and about two three months ago I started suffering the exact type of stabbing pain on the top of my foot. The podiatrist suggested gout and a foot X-ray showed nothing. So I have been assuming it is a gout condition that is very slowly improving. It's been awful in so many ways. I re-started my allopurinol to control the Uric acid which causes gout and now am praying the condition goes away. Like all the other comments the pain is exactly like an ice pick stabbing. Ug!!

May 03, 2017
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Stabbing pain on top of left foot
by: Ron

This is a first for me it just started last night. this sharp stabbing pain can have different intensities.A few days ago I started a new blood pressure medicine that raises potassium levels also been eating banana aday. if potassium levels are to high can it cause this pain? I will back off this medication and see what happens.

Apr 28, 2017
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At Least I'm Not Alone
by: JG

If nothing else, this page has made me feel less alone. I have suffered with this agonizing, burning, stabbing pain on the top of my right foot for years and my doctors just shrug it off when I try to tell them about it. They've even made me feel like it might be in my head. It used to last only a few seconds a few times a day, but now it has gotten to the point where it lasts for hours of misery.

At least reading that so many others have had the same problem helps me to feel less alone and to know that this is something real.

Apr 12, 2017
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no help for foot pain
by: CK

I am 66, in good health and in fairly good shape. I am not overweight. I have had the same stabbing pain others have described in the top of both feet, in my instep. I have had x-rays of both feet and seen a podiatrist. She did not have any answers, although she said I have "structural problems" with the bones in both feet, and she said I have a shortened achilles tendon. This pain started maybe six months ago, at first sporadically. Now it is most of the time, in both feet, including in bed at night. I used to run, but the pain has kept me from running. It keeps me awake at night. I am very frustrated because the podiatrist prescribed a Lidocaine 5% topical patch and offered a prescription for Gabapentin. The patch helped some, but right next to and above the patch the pain kept me awake at night. The side effects of the Gabapentin keep me from wanting to try it. Has anyone taken anything like this? Did it help? I have tried doing a lot of stretching, but I cannot tell any improvement from this. I feel as if the podiatrist does not take this seriously.

Mar 27, 2017
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Remedy for sharp stabbing pain
by: Richard

I have previously posted my remedy for all the stories that I read on these very sharp debilitating stabbing pains in my right foot just above my toes. I take a swig of "Indian tonic water" as soon as i can, preferably within minutes of the attack. The effect is amazing and works within 30 seconds, truly amazing. I have told other sufferers about this and they all report success. My Doctor says the quinine is the active ingredient that works the trick. Try it you might find that this is all you need for relieve, best of luck!!!

Mar 27, 2017
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welcome to the club
by: ron

As below...electric pain .top of foot. Have had gout for last 4 days which has now eased off. Been off the beer this week. Dont know if this has helped but...
the shocks only last for 2-3 seconds and spaced about a minute apart.just started tonite. Never felt this before.
im 71....not overweight but take atacand for BP.

Mar 15, 2017
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Same Same
by: John

I have had the same thing for a couple of years on and off now. Very painful and sleep depriving. For me its a trapped nerve somewhere in my foot and it can only be treated with stretching and exercising the muscles in my lower leg. Roll around on a tennis ball breaking up the tightness in the muscle on the outside of shin, knee to ankle and then do heaps (50) calf raises. Then the pain goes away for a few weeks months until it tightens up again. PT good.

Mar 09, 2017
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Hold on
by: Penny

I'm going to my doctor today. Podiatrist said I needed blood tests. It could be a symptom of diabetes. He also mentioned gout. When I get the results back, I will let you know. Hold on.

Mar 08, 2017
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Pain on top of right Foot.
by: Em

For the past 2 weeks, maybe more, ive been having unbelievable pain on top of my right foot.
it hurts so much more at night when lying down. Ice makes it worse, heat helps a little.
It is so bad at night I am reduced to tears, like right now writing this

Intense throbbing pain. There is a tender spot on top of foot which is sore to touch.
i am completely exhausted from this.

There are no decent doctors near me. It is now constant though, no breaks, all day, everyday.

Will ring a few doctors tomorrow.

Feb 20, 2017
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Spurs
by: Spurticus

Hi there I have had same pain for over a year and as I was slowly going crazy I decided to take action and go get an X-ray to see what's causing it and they found a spur! So anyone that is suffering from this sharp sudden onset stabbing electric zap pain go and ask for an X-ray to rule out or confirm spur. Good luck to all

Feb 16, 2017
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Like being stabbed in the foot
by: Sean

I am a 50 year old man in pretty good shape and about 165 pounds. Tonight, while sitting on the couch with my feet up, I suddenly felt the most severe, sharpest pain in the top inside of my left foot, unlike anything I've ever felt. It lasted only a few seconds and repeated twice more. But it hurt so badly that I now am terrified it will happen again. Totally different than a cramp, this was more sudden and intense as any pain I've ever felt. I can't believe I've never heard of this, so was shocked that a google search turned up this board with comments from so many with nearly identical pains. I will be calling my podiatrist tomorrow. There has to be an answer out there. Thank you to all who have shared their experiences so I don't feel completely alone. This pain was truly horrible.

Feb 15, 2017
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Solution to pain on top of foot
by: Donna

Just found out today!! Those who have electric pain ON TOP OF FOOT-not on bottom or near toes-just ON TOP--probable cause is a bone spur. Yep yep yep. I've been told to stop wearing any shoe that goes on top of pain of foot or past it. So went out and bought shoes that just goes to end of toes so it does not go over top of foot. I'll see if this helps. If it is a bone spur-nerves are involed so that's why the pain is so severe. If this works I'll post about it. Good luck and BYE tennis shoes!!!!

Feb 14, 2017
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Finally Gone
by: Marcia

I had this often and on for a couple of years. Finally it has stopped, but I am taking Lyrica now for Neuropathy pain that developed in my feet and ankles due to unknown causes possibly from use of antibiotic Cipro. I tried everything to rid myself of that terrible pain. Glad it is gone finally. Knock on wood!

Feb 14, 2017
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ELECTRIC
by: Donna

Sharp Sharp pain on top of my right foot. Not near toes-just ON TOP of my foot.

Feb 03, 2017
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nerve entrapment
by: Jaclyn

I have the same stabbing pain in the top of my right foot, as almost everyone else here has described. I've now had it for 1 year, coming and going as it pleases...generally when I where closed-toed shoes.

After much research, I think i've discovered what it is - nerve entrapment. Aside from a (steroid??) injection, it doesn't seem like there is much else that can be done to relieve the pain or prevent it from attacking.

Jan 30, 2017
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Stabbing pain on top of right foot
by: Pam

About a week ago I suddenly experienced sharp stabbing pain on the top of my right foot . The pain was sharp and sudden and lasted about 10 seconds. This morning I woke up and had 3 bouts of the same pain within about 5 mins I mainly wear flat shoes and have a sedentary job. The interesting thing is that this has happened about a week after I cut down on sugary foods and 3 days after a long haul flight

Jan 29, 2017
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same pain
by: Anonymous

i get that same pain on top of my right foot goes away for so long then out of the blue it stabs again. i know its not mortons neuroma because i actually had that in my left foot bad but believe it or not i did a natural cleanse for h.pylori with mastic gum and it completely disappeared,my dr. was,stunned! my mom still suffers from that. this is a stabbing pain out of nowhere that makes u limp on one leg badly. wish i could figure this out too.

Dec 08, 2016
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Stabbing pain top of left foot woke me up.
by: Jerry

I am a 64 year old native American. I am not like the most of the others. I am not able to excersise much due to my medical condition. I have had many injuries and have had cardiac bypass surgery in 2007, and a few other surgeries. Around 5:00 A.M. EST. a sharp stabbing pain in the very top of my left foot woke me up. Unlike the others, walking seems to slow and stop the pain, but as soon as I get back in bed the pain is back. Sharp stabbing pain on top of left foot for a second or two every 10 to 30 seconds unrelenting. Thinking it might be cardiac related, I took a nitro pill, but to no avail. I have never had this pain before. Any suggestions are welcomed.





Nov 17, 2016
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Intense pain - GONE!
by: Richard

I'm 65 and healthy. I eat well and exercise regularly. I suddenly started getting a severe pain in the top of my right foot. It would come on suddenly several times a day and would disappear after 1 - 2 minutes. It was like a vice grip on my foot and would force me to limp until I could walk it off but I never got it during the night.

I hadn't changed my shoes or my exercise routine so i wondered if it could be something in my diet. The only new thing that had changed was the addition of blueberries to my breakfast cereal and the pain in my foot started a few days after adding the tasty fruit to my Weetbix. I stopped taking the blueberries and the pain disappeared straight away and I've been pain-free for 3 days.

Oct 28, 2016
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SWEETS AND SUGAR ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.
by: Ama

SWEETS AND SUGAR ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.
Same Symptoms like all on this forum and this is why it happened to me.

I am an athletic build 6ft 3inches tall slim like Barak Obama. I went on holiday in August and took advantage of all the deserts on offer and continue to eat loads surgery stuff (cakes, chocolates, biscuits and anything) maybe I consumed my sugar intake for 2 years in 3 months.
Suddenly this pain gripped the top of my foot as described by most and stopped. A week later came back after eating 4 slices of sweet cakes and bang again within an hour.
As advised on this forum, I booked a session with a doctor and advised to take a blood test. Everything was fine but the doctor said my white blood cells were a bit low.
Then I started taking the following.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin E
200mg Ibuprofen for 2 days ONLY
Vitamin C (to help with my immune systems)
STOPPED EATING SUGARY FOODS
More Green tea to DETOX
More Green Vegetables

Not only did I feel better mentally and physically, I have not seen the pain for 3 weeks NOW.

Cut down the sweet things
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I totally agree with you that "sweets and sugar are not your friend", but probably not for the same reasons. Excess sugar in your body has no benefit to your health and in fact is detrimental, but, I am having a hard time correlating the excess sugar to the pain in your foot.
For what it is worth, I think the Ibuprofen and tincture of time, may very well be the reasons your foot stopped hurting.
Keep up the good work (for your body's sake).

Marc Mitnick DPM

Oct 19, 2016
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top of toes pain
by: chris

same symptoms. I first got the pains on the top of my foot while on holiday in the far east, I thought it was sunburn. It re-appeared just on top of my toes on my right foot last night stabbing surface pain every 12 seconds or so (it varies). I get no sympathy as it all looks quite normal.But one just can't sleep waiting for the next pain wave. are there no answers?

Oct 05, 2016
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Intense top of foot pain!
by: Diane

I too have similar symptoms to what so many others here report. 52-year-old fit, active, healthy woman experienced sudden, sharp pain on the top of my left foot. I generally don't wear heels, typically flats at work, and today I was wearing flats when after 9 hours of mostly sedentary desk work--only occasional walking and stairs, I felt excruciating, sharp pain in my foot. It has only gotten worse over the past few hours so I've resorted to ice and Aleve. It has happened rarely on occasion over recent years but I'd love to know the cause and how to avoid future episodes. Thanks to others for sharing!

Oct 03, 2016
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sudden sharp stabbing pain in the top of one foot
by: turbo

I have a sharp electrical pain right where my toes start, I also have a very tender spot on top of my foot, that keeps me from running, I have 500 dollar orthotics that didn't help, podiatrist
says ball of foot is hitting and causing the bones to go up and jam on the top? something like that, I also have a high arch.

Sep 17, 2016
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Same Pain and My Doctor Was No Help
by: Steve

I seem to have the same symptoms as everyone else. Just over three years ago (I was 49 at the time, about 165lbs, and in very good health), I began suffering from a stabbing pain in the center top of my right (and rarely my left) foot. It would come on without warning and was so severe that I was completely incapacitated and could only drop to the floor and grab my foot until the pain subsided.

I described the pain as feeling like someone was stabbing my foot repeatedly with an ice pick. It lasted only about five seconds, but because it was so severe and would come completely out of the blue, it was debilitating. As part of my job, I do presentations and talks for groups. Luckily, it never occurred at those times, but I was continually worried that it would and if it did, I could do nothing but drop and scream.

The pain came on the first time about early February 2013 and I did see my personal care doctor after putting up with about two weeks of it, but he was completely puzzled. An x-ray of my foot was normal and he states that it did not match the symptoms of any common foot conditions. Also, my blood glucose was normal, so it wasn't related to that. He only wrote me a prescription for diclofenac, which did nothing (other than make me dizzy and nauseated).

I began using foam and gel insoles in my shoes in Late March and I thought that solved the problem, because the pain stopped entirely about a week later. I was pain-free until about six months later, when it returned, but it was much milder and less frequent, so I could tolerated it... but just in the last few days, it is back again to the incapacitating degree that it was in 2013, but still less frequent. It does not correlate at all to whether I am walking, sitting, running, resting, sleeping, or wake. It happens completely randomly.

Anyway, if it continues like this for more than a week or two, I will take everyone's advice and get a referral to a podiatrist. I'm just hoping he/she does more than scratch his/her head and write a NSAID prescription.


Aug 15, 2016
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Sharp arch pain
by: Gary

I have suffered from peripheral neuropathy for years, so long, in fact, that I have learned to tolerate the pain. Last night I woke up with a stabbing pain in the arches of my feet, first one then the other, lasting only a second or two, but several per minute.

I was a sleepless night. I couldn't find anything on the internet about this so I don't know how serious it is. Go the emergency or just hope it stops? Appreciate any help.

Aug 11, 2016
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Same
by: Ellen

Same!!! Sharp, stabbing, pain out of nowhere. Not sure what to do about it, and if the podiatrist is the person to go to.
Been happening for months off and on. Who to go to?????
--------------------------------------------------
I may be a little prejudiced here, but a podiatrist is the person to go to. Just make sure you find a good one.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Aug 05, 2016
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SAME!
by: SheaShea

54 y.o. female, 40 lbs overweight, skinny ankles/feet, drink around 1 gallon filtered water daily.

OUT OF THE BLUE my right foot on the top behind toe 4 and about 1 inch back.

sharp, sudden, feels like I'm being stung by a huge hornet or stabbed with a knife, I immediately double over to grab my foot - I start acupressure/deep massage right on the stab, but even then it will continue for up to 30 seconds.

Sometimes it seems like tiny muscles are contracting into a charley horse? but very intense, deep, painful

crazy!

Jul 27, 2016
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re:
by: MR PALEO

Richard, it would appear Quinine water would have the same effect, but please be forewarned, as in this article... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7665718

Jul 25, 2016
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Right foot stabbing sharp pain
by: Richard

I have read most of the comments and the random pain attacks seem to have no connection to resting, sleeping, driving( worst of all), walking, sitting aeroplane, basically it can happen at anytime. It is very intense and totally consumes me and quite dangerous if I am working machinery or driving. The pain is under my right foot and deep inside just above my toe joints where they join my foot . My Doc can't help much but I had a severe attack last night in bed that woke me. My wife who is very concerned for me suggested that I drink SCHWEPPES INDIAN TONIC. WATER , an old remedy for cramps and. BINGO. after about 5 mins the pain eased off to nothing. Never before has anything worked so well, maybe just coincidental but I will be drinking it next time and report in . Richard

Jul 09, 2016
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Try this for relief - stabbing foot pain
by: Teresa

First thank you ALL! Your transparency and suffering made me realise I am not imagining the pain. I genuinely appreciate the costs in terms of time and money and insurance paperwork you have all gone through as well as your taking the time to chronicle your journeys.

Now, everyone, take off your shoes asocks and tell me if your 'index' toes are longer than your big toe and your middle toe. Mine are. And I think this might be part of the problem.

Like almost all of you the pain starts at the top of my arch, feels like an ice pick is being wedged in there and the pain radiates up and to the ankle (I am right handed and right footed and the right foot is the problem). The pain is a recent development and always in my sleep.

Recently I started doing a few things before bed in hopes of sleep.

1. Wash my feet and thoroughky massage them during the washing with the assistance of a pumice stone focusing on acupressure points. Added benefit silky smooth feet.

2. Continue with a softening cream that has arnica as an ingredient.

3. (3) Advil

4. I am taping my index and middle toes together with athletic adhesive tape.

5. A banana before bed.

It's not a 100% "cure" but it feels like it against the previous pain - from about a 14 to less than 1.

The toe taping seems to ease the pressure on the nerve all of you have identified by ever so slightly straightening it out against the shape of my foot.

Good luck. Hope this helps you as much as it has for me.

Jul 09, 2016
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Stabbing exploding pain on big toe & top of feet out of the blue!
by: Kobi

Last nite I was exhausted so I went to bed at 9:00 pm only to have this exploding hot pain start in my right foot big toe & then after 5 second the same excruciating pain on the top of my left foot. I could not rest & finally at 1:30 am I called Telegraph. My nerves very shot at that point. They just advised me to go to a doctor in the morning.. No pain medication seems to knock it down. This pain breaks for 20 seconds or so & then starts all over againso it has gone on until now which is 6:00am. I have no answer & almost feel embarrassed to go to the hospital because it is so strange. Sadly Dr. Google doesn't have any suggestions. I would love to hear from others with this problem.



Jun 24, 2016
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Top of foot pain
by: Kelly

I've had pain on the top of one foot half way between toes and ankle. It started as searing pain at night and became continuous. X ray, MRI and EMG normal. Had cortisone shots and now wearing cam boot for 8 weeks and taking gabapentin and vicodin, both help. I still can't walk in regular tennis shoes. Had sesamoidectomy 3 years ago and have arthritic big toe. I'm not sure what is going on.

Jun 08, 2016
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suggestion...
by: MR PALEO

I have been researching "prolozone" therapy to see if it will also work on cartilage/nerve damage/degeneration as a possible solution...

Jun 08, 2016
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Recovering from herniated disc and sciatica
by: Laurie

So I've been experiencing in the last 2 nights a sharp quick electrically sharp burning pain that comes in waves, lasts about 2-5 seconds as described by others. It also feels like pins and needles now that I'm awake and sitting up. It prevents me from sleeping, can't just rub it away. I had a bad bout of sciatica and herniated disc L1 S5 about 7 months ago. Only residual affect has been a slight numbness and sensitivity on top of my right foot along side of big toe and on top. Not painful just there. I'm 58, swim 3 days a week.

Seems to be worse at night . Any thoughts? Exercise, diet?

------------------------------------------------------------------
Give a few days and see if it calms down or resolves on its own. If not then a visit to a foot specialist would be indicated.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 05, 2016
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Sharp stabbing pain directly behind little toe on right foot
by: Doug

What a relief to read the other comments! In desperation I decided to search for an answer to the sharp stabbing pain that I have had in my foot and off for the past couple years. I am 58 and have an auto-immune system disorder that is being treated with several drugs that have diminished the symptoms but are not under control yet. The intense sharp pain in my right foot 1 to 2 inches behind my little toe last for 2 - 5+ seconds at a time on and off for hours at a time and then not reoccur for hours or even days and them come back for no obvious reasons. I do put a cup of Kale and blueberries in a vegan smoothie mix from The Vitamin Shoppe. I will discontinue the Kale and see if that helps. I will post a follow-up.

Apr 06, 2016
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Vitamin A?
by: Patty

Barbara, I would never have thought to even look for excessive amounts of anything in my diet, less even for a "healthy" vitamin. I guess finding this website with all of its suggestions by real pain people was a God-send. Thank you for sharing.

Apr 06, 2016
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Stabbing Foot Pain
by: JR - Anonymous

Like many others here, I also experienced the stabbing sensation in the top of my right foot for the first time this past February. The sensation would last anywhere from 2 to 20 seconds and only present once a day, lasting for a few days. It would only appear while sitting or laying down. After the pain disappeared, I thought I was in the clear, until it reappeared a month later, this time with more frequent appearances (5 - 10 times a day) and lasting for almost 2 weeks. The second round, I had constant pain for two consecutive nights - not a wink of sleep.

A trip to a a local podiatrist suggested it was strictly biomechanical, and I wasn't walking evenly on both feet and needed to strengthen the muscles of my right foot. I went through the motions and attempted to strengthen my foot with the standard supersizes (e.g. ball under foot, thera-band, etc.). The pain disappeared, but I'm not certain this was truly the reason.

Another doctor suggested it was a trapped nerve which there is apparently nothing that can be done to resolve the issue.

One tip that really helped me - I purchased the throw-away heating packs (sold for the neck and back) from the drugstore (suppose to last 8 hours) and taped it to my foot, put on a sock, and was able to get through the night pain free. When I feel the pain starting to come back, I use the heating pad and it seems to help greatly.

Apr 04, 2016
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It has stopped, Yeah!
by: Barbara

Wakened Thurs. night by a sharp, stabbing pain on top of left foot. Intermittent, would burn like an electric shock a second or two and then nothing for maybe a minute. Sleepless all night, and continued all day Friday and that night. Asked Jesus for healing and for help. Found this website with its shared experiences.
Pondered any changes in my nutrition or activity: 1) I've been sitting at computer and meal table with left foot crooked on rung of chair. Now put footrest on floor in front of chair. 2) Nine days ago, I had begun eating daily Energy Greens powder taken in carrot juice. Researching labels, I learned that I have been taking a massive dose of Vitamin A, which accumulates in the body and can be harmful by affecting the absorption of other minerals or vitamins. In each of those nine days, my percentages of "daily nutritional values" for Vitamin A were: GNC multi-vitamin..100%; 8 oz. carrot juice..630%; scoop of Greens..28%. Plus that Thurs. night I had eaten a can of pumpkin...980% (a serving size of 1/2 cup at 280% x 3.5 servings in a can). Good grief!
Saturday I stopped Greens, carrot juice & pumpkin. Thru Sunday (yesterday) the shooting pains diminished gradually. I slept without interruption last night, and today I am completely pain-free. Hallelujah! Praise God. Thank y'all for the suggestions shared. In about a week, maybe will try Greens in small carrot juice and no pumpkin to learn if this is for sure the connection. For me, for now, Yes. Gratefully...

Mar 31, 2016
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The pain is back
by: Celia

I have not had this for about 5 years, so was shocked and upset to be woken in the middle of the night with the terrible pain in my right foot, which feels as though someone is stabbing me with a white hot knitting needle. The pain comes about every 5 seconds, then it might stop for a minute or so, then it will come back again. This usually lasts 2 days or a little longer. This time I am putting the pain down to midfoot gout (like I did before) and think it is due to eating extremely rich and fatty food over Easter. So I have only myself to blame. The last straw must have been a Devon cream tea with loads of clotted cream on scones with strawberry jam, plus a very rich cheese omelette and thick chips later on in the evening. The day before I ate a very rich roast meal followed by creamy sherry trifle and had several glasses of champagne beforehand. Yesterday for lunch I had a large chunk of Dolcelatte Italian cheese!

Mar 30, 2016
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Be aware of first diagnosis by podiatrist
by: bfburkejr

My Podiatrist decided that the pain in my left foot between my second and third toe(from the pinky in) was a Neuroma and gave me Corticosteroid Injections. They did nothing to help and the third one made my foot near my toes and the pain turn all black and blue. So then he said he needed to operate to remove the neuroma. He used a self administered Anesthesia consisting of some Sodium Pentobarbitol (they use Propofol most times now I believe) and he also put a pressure cuff on my leg and used Local Anesthesia Probably Lidocaine or something similar and Epinephrine to help reduce bleeding. I remember his first comment was, "This doesn't look very big at all." Well within a year I was in the Neurosurgeons office with Left Foot Flop due to a herniated disk in my lumbar region, I believe it was L4-L5, S-1 nerve root. He4 said the "neuroma was probably NOT a neuroma, but nerve pain from my back and that the Podiatrists are operation happy due to the income operations generate. He told me that if it has been a neuroma the steroid injection would have had some effect, at least one of the three and that the black and blue was because he hit a blood vessel and that he should have know better how to inject than that.The same podiatrist did a bilateral plantar fascia release and heal spur grinding. That worked OK except he should have used an anesthesiologist as he ran out of either the pentathol or the versed or both and only had more local and he kept injecting that until my blood pressure went sky high as the lidocaine or whatever had gone systemic. It was pretty bad, definitely the worst operation I have ever had and the last time I went to see him. So I guess what I am saying is check your Doctors Experience and record and get a second opinion with an orthopedic surgeon who is a foot/ankle specialist, or even check out a neurologist they can test to see if your nerves are pinched and where, I had that done before my Carpal Tunnel Surgeries. I am in the Process of getting my "Stabbing top of the foot pain diagnosed." It feels like someone is sticking an ice pick in my foot just in front of where the foot meets the lower leg, it is bad enough to make me stumble, I have even fallen due to it a couple of times. If injection are suggested I will go to the Pain Treatment Center after some imaging and get then to do the injection with a Fluoroscopic (x-ray) guide to help to Dr. place the medicine exactly where it is needed.

Mar 20, 2016
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Lightening bolt pain
by: Anonymous

Me too. Started at work after standing for a long period. It felt like a lightening bolt struck the top of my right foot. Horrible pain, happens so fast. Never know when it is going to hit. Scared to walk on my foot in case that triggers the pain. Feels like a bone fracture, but no swelling or injury to the foot. The left foot is fine. Weird.

I do have high arches and am prone to spasms along the bottom of my feet. So I wear arch supports and eat bananas. I feel like the best thing to do is elevate my foot and maybe get a compression sock.

I'm 49 and in excellent health. I'm long and lean and sometimes have issues with circulation in my hands and feet.

Mar 12, 2016
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Foot pain
by: Sandy

My foot doctor told me to wear compression socks. They help immensly. I originally started with knee highs, but have since purchased low rise socks -- they aren't cheap, but I did find a pair on Amazon for about $10 that I like. I don't have to wear them all the time, but I do whenever I'm going to be on my feet for any length of time -- walking, shopping, cleaning, etc. If the foot pain comes back, I'll wear them for 24 hours if I have to, but they definitely help.
Another thing that helps me is shoes with stability support -- specifically if they have a metatarsal support.

Mar 11, 2016
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I got it too
by: Anonymous

Same as others have stated

Quick sharp pain

Wondering if it is related to arthritis of the big toe

My podiatrist wants to pin it


Mar 11, 2016
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Dangerous nonsense
by: Teresa

I am very surprised that Marc would allow 'Mr Paleo' to use this blog to propagate such dangerous nonsense as saying that Type 1 Diabetes can be 'eliminated' through a change in diet.

This is simply untrue, and there are documented cases of children dying because their parents believed this rubbish.

To put it simply, Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the body's own immune system. These cells cannot be restored through any kind of diet and that person is left with a life-long reliance on injected insulin in order to control their blood sugar levels.

Just goes to show, don't believe everything you read on the internet.


Hi Teresa,

You are 100 percent correct that Type I, Juvenile onset diabetes cannot be altered by diet.

Having said that I would like to think that I am the only expert on this site (and even I am subject to errors and omissions) and that any one else contributing to this forum is either relating their experience with a given problem or expressing their layman's opinion.

I may be wrong on this, but I think most people reading the forum part of this site would realize that most people are just putting in their "two cents" and that medical advice should be gotten from medical professionals, not from a poster, for any medical problem, but especially for a serious problem like diabetes.

So, even though I am inclined to leave Mr. Paleo's post up, let this part of the thread point out that a change in diet will NOT cure Type I diabetes.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 09, 2016
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Younger person experiencing this pain.
by: This is awful!

I won’t say that I am glad to see others having this pain, but it’s comforting in a way. I’m a 27 y/o male who has been very active most of my life. I was a distance runner in school and was in the Army. The past year or so I have been having random excruciating pain in my left foot. It seems to happen the most when I’m "at rest" sitting or laying down. It feels like a nail is being driven through my foot and there is a burning sensation. It’s one of the worst pains that I have ever felt before.

My foot is not tender to the touch and x-rays didn’t reveal any issues. I feel like doctors almost thinking I am making this stuff up. They gladly take my money to keep visiting them, but I don’t believe they understand what is causing this issue.

Mar 09, 2016
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Temporary Remedy?
by: Penny

Any suggestions anyone? Icy Hot & Infomercial foot pain relief creme doesn't work. I was thinking about buying a numbing spray if one exists or try to shock it in extremely cold water . Going to the doctor is not an option right now. Thank you.

Mar 08, 2016
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Dear Brian...
by: MR PALEO

"Diabetes" et al (types 1,2 and 3) is easily ELIMINATED (not "controlled") by changing one's dietary habits. I have NUMEROUS clients who have seen a COMPLETE reversal of all symptoms, including neuropathy. You should really Google those meds you are taking....
As for your comments, thank you for the input. It would appear (at least to me) that there are several problems occurring which may (or may not) be related. Are you taking any supplements that contain B-12 ? If yes, then check the form... it should be Methylcobalamin, NOT Cyanocobalamin. Do you take D3, and not D2 ? Do you have any known allergic reactions ? Do you take any other meds for other "conditions ?

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is essentially a non-working organ. I have never heard of any dietary supplements or special diets that will "regenerate" the pancreas. Any one reading this post should question their endocrinologist before embarking on changes in their diet.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 05, 2016
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Adding my report
by: Brian

I just wanted to mention that this has begun happening to me as well.

Prior to last week, I had felt it randomly in either foot maybe a half dozen times in as many years. Every once in a while I'd get a single random stabbing pain at the top of my foot, and wouldn't experience it again for months or years.

The last week, though, has been a different story. Tonight I am suffering the pain in my left foot. It has prevented me from sleeping. Several days ago, the exact same thing was happening in the exact same spot on the right foot.

As others have described, it is a sharp, hot stabbing pain that lasts barely two seconds and recurs about every thirty seconds on average. It varies in magnitude but is usually strong enough that an involuntary spasm of most of my leg muscles is triggered as a response.

Also as others have described, it is far less frequent when standing/walking but comes right back when sitting or lying down.

I am diabetic and have experienced sensory neuropathy many times, and this certainly isn't that.

Currently my blood sugar is controlled. I am taking Metformin, Lisinopril, and Tradjenta.

Something worth noting is that I have been experiencing a potential neurological issue lately. My eyeballs have been twitching and for most of two days last week I had involuntary spasms of my right index finger. I am also showing nervous behavioral symptoms at the moment, in the form of compulsively picking and chewing the nails and cuticles of my left hand (the same side on which I'm currently having foot pain ). I'm not a doctor and have no idea if these symptoms are related, I'm just including them for the sake of completeness.

My diet has been well rounded and should not be suffering a deficit of any necessary nutrient. I take a daily multivitamin and omega-3 supplement in addition to a rather liberal and diverse diet.

Finally, I've observed that while this is happening, the skin of the affected area (which shows no visible signs) is extremely sensitive, and the pain can be triggered by slightly brushing the skin or gently touching the hairs on the top of the foot. Pressing firmly on the area does not trigger the pain and in fact usually prevents it from occurring while pressure remains applied.

Feb 27, 2016
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Gout, et al...
by: MR PALEO

I would have to agree with Marc, gout presents with a differing set of symptoms, but is definitely DIET related... having said that, "blood pressure" meds are normally not something I would recommend, as there are other means to bring BP into a "proper" range, but then I am not an allopath...

Feb 27, 2016
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someone say blood pressure meds
by: Anonymous

I just started with this pain yesterday, top of left foot just below big toes. Couple episodes already when sitting. Does seem to radiate around other parts of foot/ankle and experiencing tingling while sitting that seems to move around as well. Only change in my life is started high blood pressure meds beginning of December (not quite 3 months ago). I was wondering if that could be cause and saw some of the comments here. I am taking 12.5mg hydrochlorothiazide. Just a few minutes ago I tried putting on my winter boots to go outside with dog and just about went through the ceiling with an excruciating pain in foot I never felt before. Now about 30 minutes later the foot is tingling and feels like mild cramping. I do have a herniated disc in the lower lumbar and have been noticing mild pains and burning in that area for a couple weeks now. Not a debilitating pain yet, but I find I start backing off activities to not again get to that point. Anyone who has suffered with sciatica knows that. I guess my point is, that I feel something is happening with my lower back, so that could be culprit. But the blood pressure meds question caught my attention...


Thiazide diuretics are a known factor in gout attacks which, in the majority of the cases occur in the big toe joint. BUT, your pain occurred while trying to put on your boots, so either you bent over and did something to your back (herniated disk) or the movement of the big toe joint, putting on your boots, set off your pain.

Gout, on the other hand, presents itself differently. Out of nowhere, usually early in the morning, you will experience an excruciating pain, the pain will be relentless, the joint affected will be red, hot and swollen. If not treated, the pain will be intense, then gradually diminish over the next couple of days.

So, although gout is always a possibility when there is pain in the big toe joint, most of the comments in this thread do not sound like gout.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Feb 21, 2016
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only while resting
by: vince

Just had my first night with the pain. If I'm up and moving it feels fine. Once I attempt to rest I get the stabbing and twisting pain between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal of left foot. Last for 2-3 seconds, 20 seconds to 3 minutes between bursts. Put foot in bucket of ice and it went away until the foot warmed back up. Tried elevating it, hanging it off the side of the bed, and every position I could think of without relief. Motrin has no noticable effect.

Mid 40's
5-10
185lbs
very active

Walked 27 holes of golf yesterday.(not uncommon)
Foot joy contour shoes with gel inserts.

Feb 20, 2016
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