What’s Causing My Toes to Become Numb?

Numbness In Toes

If you’re dealing with numbness in your toes, it can get you down. It may make it challenging to stay active, cause you to trip and fall, or even make it painful to walk around.

If foot pain or numbness makes you change how you walk, it can cause knee or back pain issues. In addition, the loss of feeling can result in foot injuries you might not be aware of.

What is toe numbness?

Toe numbness describes the loss of feeling in your toes, but it can also involve some related symptoms such as:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • A pins-and-needles sensation

The symptoms can sometimes extend upwards to the foot and leg as well. And it may only affect one side of your body or both.

Sometimes toe numbness can go away on its own. In other cases, it’s a symptom of a serious health condition. Here’s what you need to know about the possible causes of toe numbness and what to do about it.

What causes numbness in feet and toes?

A wide variety of health conditions can cause numbness in the feet and toes. The most common causes include:

  • Foot dysfunctions
    • High arches: High arches usually cause Metatarsalgia. The condition in which the football is inflamed, causing discomfort and numbness in your toes.
    • Flat feet: The absence of an arch in your foot when standing is referred to as a flat foot. This is usually a hereditary issue that only has to be treated if it’s causing problems.
      Bunion toes

      Bunion can cause numbness in toes

    • Bunions: A bunion is a bulge on the side of your big toe which is usually caused due to tight shoes, leading to numbness.
    • Hammertoes: Hammertoes cause the toe’s middle joint to flex, giving it a hammer or Z-shaped look. It can cause numbness and pain in the toes and feet.
    • Claw toes: Claw toe refers to toes that dig into the bottoms of your shoes in a claw-like posture. This condition can also cause foot pain and toe numbness.
  • Certain diseases
    • Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, causing numbness and tingling in the toes and feet, known as diabetic neuropathy.
    • Multiple sclerosis: MS is a chronic illness that affects the brain and spinal cord, disrupting communication between the brain and the rest of the body. MS is responsible for causing numbness and tingling in various parts of the body.
    • Raynaud’s disease: In some persons with Raynaud’s phenomenon, cold weather or stress can cause blood flow to the extremities to slow down. Due to this, toes can become numb and can become red, white, or blue.
  • Improper footwear
    • Tight shoes can reduce circulation in the toes, resulting in tingling and numbness. If a person requires a cast or other protection for a foot injury, they should ensure that they can still feel their toes while wearing the cast or wrap.
  • Herniated disk
    • A herniated disk is an issue with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) that sit between the vertebrae (bones) that make up your spine. A herniated disk can cause discomfort, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg, depending on where it is located.
  • Spinal cord injury
    • The spinal cord is in charge of transmitting nerve signals throughout the body. Numbness in the toes or the inability to feel heat or touch can be caused by a spinal cord injury.

Is numbness in toes dangerous?

No, having numbness in your toes is not considered dangerous. However, it is sometimes a symptom of a serious condition, so it is a good idea to get it checked out. The only real direct danger that comes from numb toes is the risk of falling due to being unable to feel the ground with your feet and the risk of developing wounds on your feet.

Seek emergency assistance if:

  • You’ve just suffered a head injury and are now experiencing numb toes.
  • The numbness begins unexpectedly.
  • You feel weak.
  • It spreads quickly.
  • You face difficulty in thinking.
  • You face a problem talking.
  • You’re suffering from an intense headache.

How do I get rid of numbness in my toes?

Several remedies can help reduce numbness in your toes, including getting better footwear or custom orthotics. But to get rid of the numbness for good, you should see a doctor for help identifying the cause.

Will numbness in toes go away?

It depends on the cause and the particular case. In some cases, numbness in the toes will go away on its own. In other cases, it will go away and return periodically. And sometimes, it sticks around for good and requires treatment to get any improvement. So if you’ve tried simple remedies (like ensuring you have proper shoes), but your toe numbness remains, you should consider getting it checked out.

How is numbness in toes diagnosed?

To start diagnosing the cause of your toe numbness, your doctor will speak with you about your medical history and symptoms. Afterwards, you’ll receive a physical examination which includes testing your sense of feeling in your feet, such as checking your ability to sense temperature.

Depending on what they find, they may use diagnostic tools like MRI, and CT scans to check for conditions such as spinal issues or a stroke.

Nerve conduction studies may also be used to check for pinched nerves. This test uses an electric current passing through the nerves to check if the nerve signals are typically transmitted.

How is numbness in the toe treated?

If your toe numbness doesn’t go away on its own and sticks around for several months, it’s referred to as chronic. There are several options for treating chronic foot numbness.

The appropriate treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your toe numbness. But you can also do some things to relieve the symptoms and reduce the risk of developing cuts and sores.

  • Wearing soft, thick socks, such as diabetic socks
  • Wearing well-fitting shoes or custom orthotics
  • Checking your feet daily for cuts (use a handheld mirror to check the bottoms of your feet)

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