Have your toes ever gone numb? Numbness in any part of your body can be unsettling and uncomfortable. Loss of sensation in your toes can make it difficult to exercise, walk, or even stand, depending on the severity. In addition, you might think nothing of the numbness, but it could be a symptom of other conditions, so it’s important to pay attention to it, especially if it is more intense or frequent. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, and our team are here to assist you with every aspect of your foot health, from heel to toe. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about your feet. In the following blog, we cover the phenomenon of numb toes. We explain why this happens and what it means.
If your toes are numb, you may experience:
- A complete loss of sensation, so that you can’t feel it when you touch your toes.
- A cold feeling in your toes.
- The perception that ants are crawling on your toes, which is often associated with numbness or an area of the body “falling asleep.”
- General tingling in and around your toes.
- A lessened ability to move your toes.
Most likely, if your toes are numb, you’ll know it. If this occurs on a frequent basis or is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, we recommend that you come in and see Dr. LaMour for assistance.
Numbness and Nerves
To answer questions about why toes lose sensation and what this means, it’s important to understand how nerves and numbness go together. Nerves are the fibers in your body that send messages so you can feel and sense things. If you’re experiencing numbness, this means that something is interfering with proper nerve function. As Medicine Net explains: “numbness of the toes generally is a result of conditions that affect the nerves and/or blood vessels that supply the foot.” While there are many specific circumstances that could be causing numbness, a disruption in nerve transmission (and blood flow, which affects the nerves) is the basic root of the problem.
What in the world is making your feet go numb? There are many potential factors, but some of the most prevalent include:
- An injury. Trauma to your toes can make them go numb. Livestrong explains: “An injury that causes the tissue in the foot to swell, or causes direct damage to a nerve, can lead to foot numbness.”
- Flat feet. If your foot doesn’t have a sufficient arch to support your weight and the pressure you exert through activity, the nerves in your feet could become compressed when you move, numbing your toes.
- Spinal issues. Your spine is a major control center for nerves, so if your toes become numb, it could actually be due to a more general spinal condition. Heathline lists spinal stenosis and a herniated disc as potential causes of toe numbness, for example.
- Ill-fitting footwear. Wearing shoes that pinch your toes could restrict blood flow and compress your nerves.
- Colder conditions. If your toes become too cold, this could cause them to go numb.
- Prolonged sitting or standing. Staying in one place can put undue pressure on your toes and impair the nerves. Wiki How notes: “Often numbness in the feet or toes occurs when you have sitting or standing in one place for a long time…numbness is often triggered by seating positions that pinch the nerves in your legs and/or feet.”
- Morton’s neuroma. If your numbness is specifically between your third and fourth toes, you could be suffering from a condition known as Morton’s neuroma. This occurs when the tissue becomes denser around a particular nerve.
Dr. LaMour can help you determine exactly what your numb toes mean and why they’re happening when you come see us for an examination. We will conduct thorough assessments to make an accurate diagnosis and create a customized treatment program just for you!
Are Your Toes Numb?
Find out why and what you can do about it! Come see Dr. LaMour at our Austin podiatry practice. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.