Stabbing Pain On Outside Of Foot: Identify The 10 Causes


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Your feet are one of the most diverse parts of the body. They help you move from place to place, dance when you are happy and even run toward success. So naturally, we love it and we would like to keep it as healthy as it should be.

Sometimes, there is sudden pain that one experiences on the side of the feet and sometimes in the leg muscles. The ones in the muscles are cramps but what about those on the outside of feet? Have you ever noticed it or given it a second thought? If not, maybe you should.

We aim to give you 10 causes of Stabbing pain on the outside of the foot. Read on to see what we find out.

10 Causes of Sharp Needle Like Pain In Foot At Night

Sharp Needle-like Pain In Foot At Night

A sharp, stabbing pain emanates from the outer side of the foot, creating intense discomfort with every movement. The sensation is akin to a sudden jolt, making walking a challenge. This localized pain, often felt along the lateral edge, warrants attention for potential underlying issues affecting the foot’s structure or function.

1. Sprained ankle

If your ankle is sprained chances are you would be having stabbing pain in the foot. So how does that happen? It happens when the ligaments of the leg are torn or stretched because of a sudden pull while running or dancing.

That is when the pain becomes unbearable. Some of the other symptoms could include swelling, bruising, and even difficulty moving. To treat it you should try compressing, resting, and elevating the foot and if the pain persists consult an orthologist.

2. Fracture

If a sprained ankle is not the reason then it could mean a fracture. A fracture is escalated spraining not in the muscles but the bones where they break or move from their original position.

Its symptoms are similar to a sprained ankle but the pain would be much worse and you wouldn’t be able to move even lightly. The only treatment includes using cast or splinting to keep the affected area tight and packed. If the bones are completely slit, you might even be need to surgically helped.

3. Peroneal Tendonitis

Some multiple muscles and bones make up your feet and this makes it even more complex. Peroneal Tendons are found on the outside of the ankle which can swell, pain, and softness around the feet. It can be treated with medications, compressions, and ample rest.

4. Cuboid syndrome

This condition occurs when the bone called the cuboid finds it displaced. It could be due to heavy straining or regular repetitive motion. In any case, the pain would be severe and accompanied by sudden pangs especially when you are lifting weight. It can only be treated with the help of a physiotherapist who can maneuver around it and then place it in its original position.

5. Morton’s neuroma

Neuroma is a small growth that could occur between the 3rd and fourth toes inside the neurons connected to them. It is usually noncancerous but the individual differences could persist. Additionally, it can be cured only by removing it surgically. However, in some cases, your footwear should be the culprit, and changing them could make all the difference in the world.

6. Flat feet

Also known as overpronation, the foot takes the weight on the body particularly the arches that collapse suddenly, you might feel stabbing pain in the area. It could be increased with swelling and persistent discomfort, especially during walking. You can treat it by changing your footwear that supports the arch or adopting exercises that help strengthen it.

7. Tarsal tunnel syndrome

When the tibial nerve presses inside the tarsal as it moves due to pressure or falling mostly, it could cause a sharp stabbing pain. Usually, the posterior side of the nerve undergoes compression and may need rest and medications. Moreover, surgery might also be a way in some cases.

8. Bursitis

Our bones and tendons along with muscles give us the smooth glide that we often enjoy. But that is not easy, any amount of friction between them could lead to us losing balance and that is where bursa comes into play.

They are filled with fluid and often place themselves between the two mighties to help relieve any pressure. Sometimes, they get swollen which could be exacerbated with tenderness. The treatment protocol might require you to keep resting and even get the fluid relieved to reduce the swelling.

9. Gout

Gout is a type of neuropathic pain that starts when uric acid crystals start building up in the joints which could also lead to numbness of the big toe. It usually is accompanied by sudden pain which could be treated by decreasing uric acid levels in the body and eating medications. You might also need to focus on weight loss as neuropathic pain is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

10. Peripheral neuropathy

Another kind of neuropathy starts when your peripheral nerves sustain damage in any capacity. The numbness in the feet could be solved by treating the conditions that might have led to it with medications including a couple of anti-inflammatories and an ice compress.

Several other conditions can also cause sharp pain in the outside of the foot. The way is to take care of your feet and weight in every way possible. Eat enough Calcium and Vitamin D to keep your bones strong and the muscles can be helped with lean meat proteins.

End Result

Sharp, needle-like foot pain may stem from nerve issues, inflammation, or conditions like plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, or poor footwear choices.

Stabbing pain on the outside of the foot might not be as simple as you think. In some cases it might just be the tiredness but some others, there could be 10 different causes stated above. In cases like fractures, it is best to not self-medicate and consult a doctor immediately as it is time-sensitive.

Missing even a minute can mess up the placement of the bones which you don’t want in any case. If you have a problem related to your legs, you should always be careful while moving and take your medications regularly. Additionally, you should also not ignore any warning signs that could be life-threatening for you.

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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