Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Why Does My Foot Feel Numb

Causes Of Tingling And Numbness In Your Feet May Include The Following:

Why do my feet and legs tingle or feel numb?
  • Neuropathy & neuromaThese are conditions that affect the functioning of nerves. Complications from systemic diseases like diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in the extremities, with the hands and feet often being adversely affected. A neuroma is a growth around a nerve that inhibits proper functioning. In the foot, Mortons neuroma often occurs in the ball area.

  • Foot or ankle damageA foot or ankle injury or accident that causes bone and tissue damage can also result in tingling and numbing sensations due to nerve damage.

  • OverpronationHaving untreated flat feet and overpronation can cause nerve compression, numbness, and tingling.

  • Injury to the spineSpinal disc injury can affect the nerves that supply the feet causing numbness, tingling, and burning sensations.

  • Poorly fitting footwearShoes that are too tight will push your toes together and can put stress on the nerve that causes Mortons neuroma. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and use custom orthotics to redistribute pressure away from affected nerves.

  • How Is Numbness In Your Foot Treated

    Numbness in the foot is a common cause of imbalance and can increase your risk of falling. Working with a physical therapist to develop a balance program will help reduce your fall risk.

    Movements and exercises that dont irritate your foot numbness are great ways to improve blood flow to the affected nerves. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist about designing an exercise program that works for you.

    Treating numbness in your foot is very important. A lack of sensation can increase your risk for foot wounds, trips, and falls. You may experience a cut or injury without knowing it if you cannot sense the foot well. Your wound may not heal as quickly if you have decreased circulation.

    Treating the underlying cause of numbness in your foot may help the symptom go away.

    Your doctor may also recommend seeing a podiatrist at least yearly if you have chronic numbness in your foot. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • inspect your feet regularly for cuts or wounds
    • put a mirror on the floor so you can see the soles of your feet better
    • wear well-fitting shoes that protect your feet to minimize your risk for foot wounds

    Keeping these precautions in mind can help minimize any other potential problems that can be caused by foot numbness.

    Last medically reviewed on July 13, 2017

    Alcohol Use Disorder And Alcoholic Neuropathy

    Drinking heavily on a regular basis can cause alcoholic neuropathy, which is damage to the peripheral nerves due to excessive alcohol consumption. Its estimated that 46.3 percent of people who chronically misuse alcohol experience peripheral neuropathy.

    People who develop alcoholic neuropathy may experience tingling in their feet, hands, or limbs that lasts anywhere from a few months to several years.

    Additional symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy include:

    The most important steps in treating alcoholic neuropathy are considering stopping drinking and seeking treatment for alcohol use disorder. You may also be encouraged to take vitamin supplements.

    A healthcare professional may prescribe physical therapy or pain medication to manage the tingling and pain in your feet.

    However, even if a person quits drinking, their symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy may be permanent.

    Short-term conditions can also cause tingling in the feet.

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    Is It Normal To Have Toe Numbness

    As you can tell, there are many reasons why you might have toe numbness, ranging from extremely mild to severe. So the question is: how do you know if it is normal? Toe numbness always stems from nerve damage or poor blood circulation. If either of these can be explained by your lifestyle or a recent injury, then it is extremely normal. Once you do not have an explanation for the numbness is when you should begin to dig deeper. This symptom is usually not isolated if it is something to worry about. If your toe numbness is in addition to vision problems, brain fog, muscle weakness, headaches, and other numbness, then you should seek medical help. Jamfeet is the place to go if you need answers about your feet.

    Toe Numbness: What To Do

    Why Is The Tip Of My Big Toe Numb

    You may be familiar with the common pins-and-needles sensation of your foot or arm falling asleep. This feeling usually resolves itself quickly without needing treatment from your doctor. This condition occurs less frequently in your toes, but does it point to a medical concern?

    Whether the numb feeling in your toes is chronic or occurs during acute scenarios, it can be useful to learn about what this symptom means for your overall health. , a podiatrist practice located near Washington Crossing, PA, provides more information about what toe numbness could signify.

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    Circulatory Causes Of Foot Numbness

    Foot numbness can result from a lack of blood flow to the foot due to such conditions as the following:

    • Peripheral artery disease is the most common vascular cause of foot numbness. PAD is a narrowing of the arteries over time due to a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the artery walls, which limits blood flow to the extremities.
    • Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in the leg that can break loose and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lung, a heart attack, or even stroke. DVT is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
    • Frostbite or extremely cold temperatures can constrict small blood vessels and cause numbness. Frostbite requires urgent care to prevent tissue death and other complications.

    Surgical procedures to treat PAD include angioplasty, which uses a stent to open blocked arteries, and bypass surgery, in which surgeons build a pathway around a blockage using a piece of blood vessel from a different part of your body.

    Your doctor will discuss all of your available treatments options, including potential risks and side effects, to find the one thats right for you.

    Temporarily Pinching A Nerve In The Foot

    This is a sensation most people are familiar with, often referred to as your foot “falling asleep.”

    This happens most commonly from crossing one’s legs for too long or otherwise remaining in a certain position that puts strain on a nerve in the foot or leg, says , MD, Director in Neurology at Northwell Health.

    How to treat it: This type of paresthesia, or tingling, usually resolves when you change positions because you are no longer putting pressure on the nerve.

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    Other Causes Of Foot Numbness

    There are a couple of other, rarer, causes of foot numbness:

  • Multiple Sclerosis: This is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system . It is often associated with reduced balance, tingling and extreme itchiness, muscle spasms and difficulty controlling arm and leg movements.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: This is where the posterior tibial nerve gets squashed as it passes through a small space between the foot bones. This may be due to swelling, bone spurs, an injury or abnormal foot position. The most common symptoms are sharp shooting pains with associated pins and needles and foot numbness on the inner side of the ankle or bottom of the foot. Symptoms tend to get worse with prolonged activity.
  • How Is Toe Numbness Treated

    Numbness in Toes, Feet or Legs? [Causes & Numb Foot Treatment!]

    Treatments for toe numbness depend upon its underlying cause.

    If diabetic neuropathy is the cause, your doctor will recommend medications and treatments to ensure your blood sugar stays at appropriate levels. Increasing your physical activity and paying careful attention to your diet can also help.

    If the numbness is due to compression of the nerve in the foot, changing the type of shoes you wear might help. If the numbness is related to alcohol, you should stop drinking and begin taking a multivitamin.

    In addition to these steps, a doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medications. These can include:

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    What Treatment Can I Expect

    Treatment for toe numbness can depend on the causation of the symptom. A toe injury that causes a numb sensation in the area can usually be resolved once the injury is healed.

    If toe numbness is a symptom of an underlying illness, you will likely need to treat this condition to alleviate the numbness. Your podiatrist can offer additional guidance to manage this sensation.

    Some Of The Many Possible Causes Of Loss Of Feeling And Tingling In Your Feet And Ankles May Include The Following:

    • InjuryLosing the sense of feeling or having a pins and needles sensation often occurs after a foot or ankle injury.
    • NeuromaThese are benign growths that occur around nerves. They frequently affect a nerve between the third and fourth toes in the feet, causing a condition known as Mortons neuroma.
    • Circulation problems or a pinched nerveYou can cut off circulation to your feet or pinch a nerve during a long bus or plane trip by sitting in one place for too long. Try to get up and stretch your legs several times during the journey.
    • Diabetic peripheral neuropathyComplications of diabetes can cause numbness and tingling in the feet and ankles and other extremities.
    • OverpronatingIf you are overpronating due to poorly treated flat feet, the pressure can cause nerve anomalies that cause numbness and tingling.
    • Slipped discA slipped or damaged spinal disc may cause foot and ankle nerve problems.

    Fortunately, many cases of foot numbness can be traced and treated by your foot doctor.

    For numbness and tingling in your feet and ankles, make an appointment with your foot doctor for the proper care. Contact Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. DAmico, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.

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    When Numbness Isnt Normal

    As we mentioned above, temporary bouts of numbness and that familiar pins and needles feeling often occur because of posture or tight clothing or footwear. Its easy to spot these examples because the symptoms usually go away after you change position or loosen or remove the restrictive items.

    When numbness develops because of an underlying condition, it typically comes with its own calling cards, such as:

    • Persistent numbness despite moving
    • Additional sensations, such as tingling, burning, tickling, or itching
    • Changes in vision or dizziness

    You should also get emergency care immediately if your foot suddenly becomes numb and has additional symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or talking, loss of bladder or bowel control, or severe headache.

    What Does Numbness In Toes Feel Like

    Toe Numbness Diabetes

    Describing the sensation of numbness is a bit difficult because it can feel different to everyone. However, you know the feeling when it happens. Having an extremity fall asleep is a pretty common occurrence. Numbness in the toes isnt much different than any other part of the body. The most extreme case of numbness is losing all sensation in the toes, so that touch and temperature dont register. Numbness can also be a tingling sensation like pins and needles are constantly touching your toes. Many times, this type of numbness comes with a cold sensation.

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    Numbness In The Top Of The Foot Symptom Checker Statistics

    People who have experienced numbness in the top of the foot have also experienced:

    • 8% Pain In The Top Of The Foot
    • 6% Toe Numbness
    • 5% Ankle Numbness

    People who have experienced numbness in the top of the foot were most often matched with:

    • 66% Low Calcium Level

    People who have experienced numbness in the top of the foot had symptoms persist for:

    • 37% Less than a day
    • 27% Over a month

    What Can Cause Numbness In Feet

    Foot numbness develops when there is a communication problem in thenervous system. Sensory nerves receive stimulus such as pressure andtemperature information and send electrochemical signals to the brainfor interpretation. The brain then sends a corresponding signal backdown to the nerve.

    Damage to the nerve affects this cycle and numbnessin the foot usually develops when these signals are no longer produced. Your body then loses the ability to feel sensory input such asheat/cold and light/sharp pressure therefore feeling numb. Thesensation of pins and needles tends to occur when the signals areproduced erratically.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Numbness In Your Foot

    The chief symptom for numbness in your foot is losing sensation in your foot. This affects your sense of touch and balance because you cant feel your foots position against the ground.

    While sensation loss is the main symptom of numbness in your foot, you may experience some additional, abnormal sensations. These include:

    • weak-feeling foot or feet

    What Causes This Numbness

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    The most common reason that toe numbness occurs is tight footwear. If your shoes are too tight, they will cut off the blood flow to your foot. If you have chronic toe numbness, the first thing to do is to try wearing bigger shoes. This is an easy fix and can happen without you realizing it. In fact, even wearing the wrong type of shoe can create this problem. If you are going to be walking a lot or standing most of the day, wear shoes that offer support.

    Another common reason is an injury. This may be obvious because you will definitely know if your toes have been injured. Nerve damage can occur in the toes from trauma. Overuse of the toes can result in numbness as well. A day at a theme park, or running long distances, can cause your toes to be overworked. Luckily this type of numbness only occurs when the toes are being used. It will subside quickly after you give your feet a rest. Certain blood disorders can cause numbness in your toes. Peripheral vascular disease is a common disorder that decreases blood flow.

    Toe numbness could also be linked to diabetes. Raynauds phenomenon is a disorder where blood vessels respond too strongly under certain conditions. This can usually be managed easily. Anemia decreases red blood cells in the body, which can create toe numbness in some instances. Nerve damage or irritation in the back can also become symptomatic all the way down to your toes.

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    Are You Experiencing Continued Numbness Or Foot Pain

    If you notice that numbness comes on with other activities and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, burning, or weakness, this may be an indication of other causes of nerve irritation that is best addressed by a doctors assessment. Schedule an appointment with a Banner Health specialist to be evaluated.

    Why Do My Feet Feel Numb

    Experiencing numbness in your feet can be caused by many factors ranging from something as simple as sitting too long in one position to something as potentially dangerous as diabetic nerve damage. Foot numbness can result in poor balance and debilitating falls, especially in the elderly, so be sure to see your foot doctor if your feet feel numb to prevent these outcomes.

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    How Can I Avoid Foot Numbness

    Dr. Steward provides four potential solutions worth trying to get blood flow back to your feet:

  • Try larger shoes. A larger shoe size can accommodate for swelling that occurs in the feet and will give your piggies more room to wiggle. If its too tight in the toe box, you can experience tingling. But keep in mind, if your shoes are too loose, your toes may grip excessively in the shoe, which can also cause tingling. Best advice: Purchase workout shoes about a half size larger than you would normally purchase.
  • Pedal backward. As you begin to experience numbness, pedal backward for a couple of minutes. Doing this can change the pressure distribution in the foot, allowing decompression of a nerve or return of blood flow to a smaller compartment of the foot.
  • Move heel to toe. Mimicking the natural heel to toe pressure you experience while walking can alleviate some of the constant pressure on the forefoot.
  • Shorten time on the elliptical. It may help to shorten the duration of your workout or take intermittent breaks.
  • Treatment For Foot Numbness

    Diabetes Feet Tingling At Night

    Numbness in the feet, whether it be in the legs, top or bottom of the foot, or the toes, may be treated with certain types of physical therapy, such as anodyne therapy. In diabetics, better control of their glucose levels may diminish the sensation of numbness in the feet and legs. Supplementation of B vitamins may also result in improvement in foot numbness, as well as alpha lipoic acid. If nerve entrapment is known to be the cause of the numbness in the foot, legs or toes, then surgical decompression of the nerve either at the spinal cord level or in the leg or foot itself may provide relief.


    There are many causes for foot numbness. Treatment options are available and are based on the underlying cause. One should see a foot and ankle specialist if they experience numbness in the feet, legs or toes.

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    Tight Muscles Or Joints

    Wickham explains that a tight joint or a tight muscle, especially in the feet, legs, or glutes, can eventually lead to feelings of numbness. He uses the foot, which contains 29 muscles as an example.

    Youve got nerves that run down into the foot, and their job is to innervate those muscles, Wickham says. If you have a tight muscle in any of those muscles in feet that compresses the nerve, then that nerves not going to work as efficiently or work at all in some cases, and that could lead to numbness in the feet.

    Additionally, poor mobility can throw off your running gait, worsening the problem. Say someone has an excessive heel strike when theyre running. Thats basically going to increase the impact through your feet, Wickham says.

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