What Causes Sharp Toe Pain?

Photo Alto/Odion Dimier/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Causes of sharp toe pain include medical conditions such as gout, Morton’s neuroma and diabetic neuropathy, according to Healthgrades. Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, notes the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Excess uric acid in the body leads to sharp crystal deposits in the joints, such as the big toe, explains National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Gout attacks often wake people from sleep and cause pain, swelling, redness and heat in affected joints. Uric acid buildup is the result of the body making too much uric acid, the kidneys not filtering enough uric acid or consuming too many foods high in purines.

Morton’s neuroma occurs due to an injury to the nerve between the toes, often the third and fourth toes, according to MedlinePlus. Doctors do not know what causes the condition but believe it may be due to factors such as wearing high heels and having flat feet. Patients with Morton’s neuroma experience symptoms such as pain that increases when wearing shoes and pain that gets worse over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that occurs due to uncontrolled high blood glucose levels, notes Healthline. High blood glucose levels damage various nerves in the body, causing symptoms such as foot ulcers, pain in the extremities and sensitivity to touch.