Woman holding numbness in toes

Numbness in Toes: Is it Normal?

The toes are a small, yet crucial part of the foot that promotes proper balance. They are an important part that allows you to walk. Just like numbness in any other part of the body, this sensation usually means something is wrong. When your foot or arm falls asleep, it’s usually due to a lack of blood flow. Having toe numbness may be a lot less common. As a top Los Angeles podiatrist, Jamfeet can help you determine the cause of numbness in toes.

What Does Numbness in Toes feel Like?

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 isn’t 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 don’t 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.

Why do my Toes Get Numb?

The medical reason you have numbness in your toes is due to the nerves or blood supply. Nerves in your body are what register touch in your brain. If your nerves are not working properly, there’s nothing to link your brain to your toes. The other common medical reason for numbness is lack of blood. If the blood vessels that supply blood are blocked or pinched, then the pins and needles sensation will happen. There are many different scenarios that can cause this to happen.

What Causes this Numbness?

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. Raynaud’s 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.

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.