Why Are You Feeling Sudden Sharp Pain in the Foot?

Pain is never something to play around with. Of course, certain types of pain are common and they may not be related to very serious underlying issues – but then there are those types of pain which are actually the sign of a more serious problem and which should be investigated for certain.

Only this way will the patient be able to alleviate the pain and try to avoid in the future.

Foot pain is one of the most common complaints out there. As with every other type of pain, it may not be serious, but there are cases when there is an underlying cause that has to be treated as well as possible.

Following, you will be presented with the causes that may lead to sudden sharp pain in foot (acute pain), as well as with other important bits of information related to learning more about this kind of foot pain.

Acute Pain Explained

There are many areas of the body that can be struck by acute pain and there are many causes that can lead to them.

Acute foot pain makes absolutely no exception from this rule. Generally speaking, the main symptom of this pain is the rapid onset in only one foot.

Also, there are many causes leading to it, from causes related to specific types of injuries to diseases a person may suffer from.

The Main Causes that Lead to Acute Foot Pain

There may be a lot of things that make you feel sudden pain in the foot, but here are some of the most common ones:

1- Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon and it can affect every single tendon in the human body – those in the foot area included.

Believe it or not, the human foot has no less than 24 bones, many muscles, a string of tissue connecting its top with its bottom and, together with all of these, quite a lot of tendons as well – so it is no wonder that tendonitis is one of the leading causes for foot pain.

Sometimes, the pain felt due to tendonitis can be very acute and it can be quite sharp and only medical examination can actually tell if you are suffering from this particular condition or not.

2- Stress fracture of the metatarsal bones is common among athletes, runners and people who practice sports where a lot of repetition is involved.

Basically, what happens is that the muscles of the foot grow weary and tired and they transfer their task to take off the pressure of the foot on the metatarsal bones.

When that happens, small fractures can appear in the bones, which can lead to pain. Usually, X-rays may not be revealing enough for this condition so other examinations may have to be performed.

3- Buerger’s disease is not a medical condition related to the bones or the muscles proper, but to the arteries and veins that run into the feet and hands.

In other words, this is a type of vasculitis where the inflammation occurs in the arteries and veins running through the feet and hands.

Due to this inflammation, clots can develop and this can in itself lead to very serious issues further on.

Among the symptoms of the Buerger’s disease, you can find pain and lesions that do not heal. Later on, further symptoms can appear.

sudden sharp pain in foot

4- Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of the diabetes disease in which the nerves are damaged as a result of the long term high levels of sugar in the blood.

Diabetic neuropathy can affect almost all parts of the human body – including the feet. Furthermore there are 3 main types of diabetic neuropathy: sensory, motor and autonomic.

The sensory neuropathy stops the brain from receiving the right signals from the body when it comes to sensations (pain included). As a result of this, a patient can feel sudden sharp pain in foot.

5- Ulcers. There are certain types of ulcers that can affect the feet as well, leading to pain in the area. Diabetic ulcer, venous ulcer and arterial ulcer are among these.

It is thus very important that you present yourself to the doctor as soon as you notice a high occurrence of a sudden pain in the foot area because it may actually be a symptom of an ulcer (or of other medical conditions as well).

6- Ganglions are also among the leading caused for sudden pains in the feet. Put simply, these ganglions are swellings that appear in the joint and soft tissues of the body and the feet make no exception from this.

There are many things that can lead to the formation of ganglions, but the ones more prone to develop them are weight lifters, waiters, guitar players, people with rheumatoid arthritis, people with arthritis and people who perform repetitive movement of a joint (or use vibrating machinery at work).

7- Trauma is among the most common causes out there too. Basically, any injury brought to the body can be considered to be a form of trauma.

Sometimes, trauma can appear in the area of the foot as well, which can lead to sudden sharp pain in the area and other symptoms as well.

Treatment for Acute Foot Pain

In most of the cases presented above there will be a type of treatment or remedy to make the situation better for the patient.

However, it is important that you allow a specialist to determine the exact cause that has led to the formation of the pain in the first place because this will determine the treatment.

In the case of tendonitis and stress fracture, for example, the doctor may have to recommend cats or orthotic footwear to sustain the foot properly, so that it heals well.

Furthermore, in other cases medication may be available to heal the initial cause. Other times, a long-term commitment to a life regiment may be in order (such as in the case of those who suffer from diabetes).

Again, it is essential that you actually know the cause so that you can apply the right treatment.


  1. I haven’t been feeling a pain that was associated with an injury in my foot but more like a twitching and tight muscle in the bottom of my foot. Reading through this article I’m still not sure if I might have tendonitis or not but this article definitely gave more information about a problem that has been bothering me and I’ll be sure to talk to my Doctor about this and the uncomfortable pain in my foot.

  2. Ah yes. I have a friend who had a stress fracture in one of her feet and didn’t actually realize it. She took a vacation to New York City and, after several days of walking, made the condition worse. She’s now contemplating surgery. I can tell she’s in a lot of pain.

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