Welcome to Buoy Health

Learn about your sharp, stabbing foot pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your sharp, stabbing foot pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having sharp, stabbing foot pain.

Take a quiz
Your Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain May Also be Known as:
Sharp foot pain

Top 10 Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Causes

  1. 1.Morton Neuroma

    Morton neuroma is nerve damage between the 2nd and 3rd toes, often found in women who run or wear tight high heels.

    You can try to make things better simply by changing your footwear like adopting orthotics, for example. Go to the doctor for further workup, however, if that doesn't work. There, your doctor will perform a physical exam and maybe take an MRI. Treatment for tougher cases include injections of corticosteroids. Surgery is a last resort but works well.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot numbness, pain in the sole of the foot, pain in both feet, pain when touching the foot, pain in the outside of the foot
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This is a common problem in runners, people who are overweight, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support. When the thick band of tissue (fascia) becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with over-the-counter pain killers (Advil, Motrin), as well as shoe inserts (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to the feet more evenly. If pain does not begin to subside, seek consultation with a physical therapist.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the sole of the foot, pain in one foot, sharp, stabbing foot pain, severe foot pain, heel pain
    Symptoms that always occur with plantar fasciitis:
    pain in the sole of the foot, sharp, stabbing foot pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy

    Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy is the dysfunction of a tendon (muscles to bones) in the back of the foot, which can lead to having flat feet. It's unclear why exactly it happens, but might be related to poor blood flow and mechanical issues specific to the person.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who can diagnose this condition by clinical interview and exam. Treatment is conservative and involves a cast, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, and orthotic footwear. Surgery is a last resort.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, swollen foot, limping, pain in one ankle, heel pain
    Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Foot Sprain

    The bones of the ankle and foot are held together by ligaments, which are bands of tough tissue. A sprain is a type of injury where one or more of the ligaments is stretched too far, causing tiny fibers in the ligaments to tear. In most cases, the ligament does not tear completely.

    You should go to a retail clinic to have the foot sprain evaluated. Most often, minor sprains can be treated by resting the foot, elevating it while sitting or laying down, and applying an ice pack or heat. Over-the-counter pain medication can help as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, limping, foot injury, warm red foot swelling, swelling of one foot
    Symptoms that always occur with foot sprain:
    pain in one foot, foot injury
    Symptoms that never occur with foot sprain:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  5. 5.Foot Weakness

    Any foot weakness is a sign of nerve damage, which is very worrisome and requires you to go see a doctor immediately!

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    foot weakness, lower leg weakness, severe pelvis pain, arm weakness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

    Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having sharp, stabbing foot pain.

    Take a quiz
  6. 6.Raynaud Phenomenon

    Primary Raynaud phenomenon is a disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes, which causes the blood vessels to narrow when feeling cold or stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with conservative measures, such as avoiding cold and use of protective measures and/or quitting smoking. If this is ineffective or you have other symptoms in addition to this, contact your primary care physician when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, turning blue or purple from coldness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

    The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that lies on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression, or squeezing, on an important nerve called the posterior tibial nerve. This compression produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate your care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Tarsal tunnel syndrome is treated with pain medication, corticosteroid injections, stretching, icing, physical therapy, and also special orthotic inserts for shoes.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous foot pain, pain in one foot, heel pain, pain in the top of the foot, tingling foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Nail Infection (Paronychia)

    Paronychia is an infection of the nail folds, typically caused by Staph. Aureus. Or a fungus.

    You should go see a retail or urgent care clinic in the next day or so. You can treat this with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or bactrim.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous toe pain, toenail pain, toenail swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Crps)

    Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition which may happen after an injury, either to a nerve or to tissue in the affected area. It causes intense pain, usually in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who will coordinate care with a physical therapist. Treatment focuses on relieving the pain, and can include medicines, physical therapy, and nerve blocks.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, pain in one leg, tremor, fatigue, pain in one foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Valgus and Bunion

    A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. Certain footwear styles can worsen bunions.

    You should visit your primary care doctor, who can help you pick out good footwear. Surgery is considered if footwear change does not control pain symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    bump on outside edge of big toe, big toe pain, foot ulcer, toe pain that gets worse when wearing closed-toe shoes, pain at the base of the toe
    Symptoms that always occur with valgus and bunion:
    bump on outside edge of big toe
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain

  • Q.Is your foot pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How severe is your foot pain?
  • Q.Is the pain affecting:
  • Q.Did you recently injure your foot?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our sharp, stabbing foot pain symptom checker.

Take a quiz

Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain have also experienced:

    • 13% Foot Pain
    • 6% Ankle Pain
    • 6% Sharp Hand Pain
  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 39% Over a Month
    • 22% Less Than a Week
    • 20% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain were most often matched with:

    • 27% Morton Neuroma
    • 27% Plantar Fasciitis
    • 18% Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having sharp, stabbing foot pain.

Take a quiz