Viruses that attack the body's nerve tissue, such as shingles, cause damage to the sensory nerves and send sharp bouts of pain to the feet, states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This pain often occurs after a shingles attack.
This type of pain also, called neuropathy, affects people who have leprosy, Lyme disease and diphtheria, states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In extreme cases, this pain can lead to muscle wasting, paralysis and organ dysfunction. Treating this pain often means treating the underlying cause, and some nerve medications can also help ease the pain, states WebMD.