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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

Sharp Pain in Big Toe and Burning Pain in Ball of Foot

by Dennis
(King George Virginia)

I broke my big toe ( Right Foot ) in '04. Toe healed fine and did not bother me until '08 while on a treadmill. I was walking on the treadmill for an hour each day until my foot started to hurt. It has now been 7 months( not walking on treadmill), and the pain is better but will not go away. I have seen 4 podiatrist and 2 are not sure what is causing it and 2 beleive it is a nerve problem. I am having sharp pains in in the end of my big toe and burning pain in the ball of my foot. The pain has improved over the months from a 10 to a 7 / ten being the worst. Neither podiatrist fells that the pain is coming from the break in '04. Possibly coming from walking on the treadmill. It has been suggested that the nerve be deadened by cryosurgery ( freezing the nerve ). I am also having some burning pain in both arches. I just purchased custom made arch supports from Foot Solutions to see if they will help. I have just started to wear them 3 days ago. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Dennis


Hi Dennis,
Without having the luxury of examining you the symptoms you describe do sound like nerve involvement, probably an entrapment of a local nerve in the ball of the foot, that is giving you the localized pain and the sensation into the end of your toes.
I would imagine it was the constant pounding on the treadmill that irritated the nerve.
The arch supports, over time, may reduce some of the nerve inflammation.
Have you tried any nerve "soothing" medications like Neurontin or Pamelor?
You might mention them to your doctor and see what they say.
If you can pinpoint the exact area of irritation, a cortisone injection may also be helpful.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Sharp Pain in Big Toe and Burning Pain in Ball of Foot

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Apr 29, 2009
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Burning sensation on ball of foot
by: Anonymous

what about cortisone cream applied topically ?

Hi,
Although you can try cortisone cream, it is usually reserved for skin eruptions and in my opinion would probably not help burning on the ball of the foot.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Jan 27, 2009
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Re:Big Toe
by: Anonymous

(Lili Burlingotn, VT) I?ve been experiencing a lot of pain in my big toe and it?s very difficult to walk. It?s worst when I put pressure on the toe. I didn?t hit anything to have caused the pain. I hope it?s nothing bad that I need to worry about. I work in an office and sit all day! I?ve had this pain before, but not as bad!

Hi Lili,
Since there was no trauma I would not suspect you have a broken bone so that leaves you one of two things. Arthritis in the big toe joint (I do not know how old you are) or perhaps a tendonitis.
If you can tolerate it, take some anti-inflammatory medication for a few days and see if that relieves the pain, if it does not, you should consider seeing a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

Mayo Clinic

Johns Hopkins Medicine

MedlinePlus

Arthritis Foundation

University of Rochester Medical Center

Harvard Health

Drugs.com

American Academy of Pediatrics

Penn State Medical Center

National Institutes of Health

Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation

ScienceDirect

Stanford Health Care

Illinois Bone and Joint Institute

Mount Sinai Hospital

Institute for Chronic Pain

University of Florida Health

American Family Physician

Cedars-Sinai

University of Maryland Medical Center

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