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Weird feeling and pain in toe. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Could it be a pinched nerve?

Nov 2013
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I have a wired feeling in my big toe, almost like a tapping, whenever I touch the top of my foot or stretch my toes. It kind of hurts and I am worried about what it is and why it happens. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but sometimes I wonder if they just couldn't find what's really wrong. Is there a simple explanation like a pinched nerve, or is that not likely?
Posted Fri, 28 Dec 2012 in Sleep Disorders
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 29 minutes later

Thank you for posting your query.

The symptom you have described is very local, and not suggestive of fibromyalgia. In fibromyalgia, there is widespread pain, affecting several parts of body, such as neck, shoulders, back, legs, etc. In addition, there is tenderness on applying pressure.

Your symptoms are most likely to be related to strain of muscles of foot. It is not a serious condition, and resolves on its own in 1-2 weeks.

The other reason could be a pressure on the small nerves of the foot (digital nerves) with the footwear. In this condition, changing the footwear may be helpful.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Wishing you good health,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Weird feeling and pain in toe. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Could it be a pinched nerve? 3 hours later
Just to clarify, my fibromyalgia diagnosis was not related to my foot, but unexplained wide spread pain in other parts of my body. I just wanted to know if this is related to my fibromyalgia or possibly indicitive of a different neurological condition. They tested me for a lot of things like sjogrens and M.S. and eventually just said I have fibromyalgia. It seems that diagnosis is a cover all when doctors can't come up with anything else. I question it because my body did not respond to any of the normal fibromyalgia treatments.

So, you are saying that this does not match the symptoms of any other neurological conditions? I ask because I do not wear tight shoes and the symptoms have persisted for more than two weeks. Is there any other recommendations or causes that I should pursue beyond tight shoes? It is very uncomfortable.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 14 minutes later
Thank you for getting back with more details and clarifications.

Unexplained widespread pain is most often due to fibromyalgia. However, this diagnosis is made, only after excluding all other causes of such pain. I agree, however, is that in several patients, the improvement to medical treatment is not satisfactory.

Regarding pain in the foot/toe, it is most likely not related to fibromyalgia. I see about five patients of fibromyalgia a week (for the past 14 years), and I do not remember someone specifically complaining of foot/toe pain.

So, as I mentioned earlier, we should look for any local causes- related to bone/joints/nerves/soft tissue (in the affected area). If a cause is found, we should treat that. If not, then, analgesics (such as ibuprofen or diclofenac), as per the need may be used.

I hope it helps.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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