Why Do I Get Pain In My Toe At Night & How To Get Rid Of It?

Pain in toe with a varying degree of severity can be due to many underlying health problems. Toe pain is often accompanied with concomitant symptoms such as swelling, burning, tingling, pus formation etc. Pain can be constant or episodic, meaning it comes and goes.

There are wide varieties of reasons for toe pain. The cause can be as simple as trauma or something more severe such as gout and neuropathy. Excruciating toe pain can occur throughout the day, but sometimes it may become worse during night. Sometimes the patient cannot bear to have it touched or moved.

Nighttime toe pain can occur due to many underlying reasons.

What Are The Causes Of Toe Pain At Night?

Pain in toe can develop due to many underlying causes. Throbbing pain may be present only in one toe or may involve many toes depending on the condition. Such type of pain may be directly associated with the toe or may occur as a result of problem located somewhere else.

Pain due to ingrown toe nail originates from the toe itself. But pain in toe can also occur due to tarsal tunnel syndrome, a problem linked with compression of ankle tissue.

Aside from bunions, corns and calluses, toe pain during nighttime can be a symptom of more serious disease such as gout, peripheral neuropathy etc.

Let us know the common reasons for toe pain and night as it will help to identify the medical condition easily:

  • Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis in which there is excess accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints. One of the most distinguishing symptoms of gout is night time pain in great toe. There is sudden inflammation of the toe with red and shiny skin. Pain in the beginning is unbearable and slightest touch or draft of air can worsen the pain. Pain and swelling subsides after few days.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: This condition is related to peripheral nerves. Tingling, numbness and pin and needle like sensation are the earliest symptoms of peripheral neuritis. Patient suffering from this condition experiences burning pain in toes especially at night. The most common cause of peripheral neuritis is diabetes.
  • Morton’s neuroma: In this condition the nerves innervating toes and tissues of foot become abnormally thick. The nerve travelling between third and fourth toe are mostly affected in morton’s neuroma. Patient experiences pain in toes and at the ball of foot. This condition can occur in one or both the feet. Morton’s neuroma can occur at any age but it is mostly seen in middle aged women. The possible cause is wearing tight fitting high heeled shoes. It is also seen in people with flat foot or having high foot arch.
  • Ingrown toe nail: It is an abnormal growth of toe nail inside the skin. This condition is very common. It is observed in people wearing tight shoes or due to improper cutting of toe nails. Infection in nails can also cause ingrown toe nail. Pain in toes, difficulty in walking, swelling and redness, pus at the side of toe nail are clinical features most commonly observed in this condition.

Other anomalies of foot and toe such as bunions, corns and calluses, hammer toe all can cause nocturnal pain in toes.

How To Get Rid Of Pain In Your Toe?

Toe pain during night has many different causes. Treatment may depend on the underlying cause. For example if the cause is gout, patient may need anti inflammatory analgesics and pain killers to relieve pain. In some cases doctors even prescribe corticosteroids. Together with medicines patient change his life styles. He has to avoid eating red meat, avoid alcohol, and food that are rich in purines. Obese patients should reduce their weight.

Since peripheral neuropathy is common associated with uncontrolled diabetes, the first thing that a diabetic patient needs to do is to control his blood sugar within normal limits. Simultaneously he also needs vitamin B complex. Eating balanced diet is important for over all benefit of the patient.

Applying ice fomentation can temporarily alleviate pain. But in certain cases such as nerve compression or bunions and corns surgical intervention may be needed to correct the problem.

One Comment

  1. Fleur said:

    I believe that I may have Morton’s neuroma. Pain and burning in my third and fourth toes at night that wake me up. Then Need to get up and walk around for a minute or so to make it stop. It just comes back shortly after. Doctor told me it is arthritis but I think it is not that. What do I do? Surviving on 3 to 4 hours sleep a night, which is not good enough when you’ve got a physically demanding full time job. Anyone got any answers?

    December 13, 2017

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