Numbness in Toes
This can be a very disconcerting condition for anyone to have. Not only that, but it can be fairly irritating and uncomfortable. Numbness may be experienced in just one toe or in several toes at once. The cause of the numbness will determine the onset time for the condition to appear as well as the other symptoms that may be experienced at the same time.
Direct Causes for Numbness in Toes
The most common reason for the toes to go numb is that the shoes are too tight. While walking, the feet may swell slightly, causing even seemingly well-fitting shoes to squeeze the toes. If the shoes are so small that the toes do not have the room to move at all, the shoes are too small and should be replaced. Compacted toes can sometimes lose circulation, thereby becoming numb as the nerves shut down. Make sure to never wear shoes for too much longer than necessary to prevent keeping the toes compacted.
When the foot or toes become injured due to physical trauma, the nerve endings in the toes can be damaged, causing a loss of sensation. Especially if the toe is fractured, the toe can become inflamed, which might affect the nerves. Stubbing a toe can lead to numbness too, even if there isn't an actual fracture or similar injury.
Bunions on the toes are a fairly common reason for numbness. They are usually caused by ill-fitting shoes and generally appear on the biggest toe of the foot. High heel shoes are particularly bad in this case. If a bunion goes untreated for a long time and the cause behind the formation of the bunion is not removed, the problem can occur in the other toes too and may lead to overall numbness.
Several disorders of the foot, like high arches or flat feet, can cause the toes to become numb. Walking on oddly shaped feet can put stress on certain areas, which can damage the nerve endings and can cause inflammation and irritation, eventually leading to numbness. Arthritis is also a contributor in this case.
Indirect Causes for Numbness in Toes
Neuroma is characterised by a nerve growing in an abnormal manner. This occurs in the toes more often than in any other part of the body. A neuroma causes the electrical signals from the nerve to be blocked, which causes a loss of sensation in the affected body part. This condition can spread to other parts of the foot if it begins in the toes, making walking painful and difficult.
Three types of neuropathy can lead to numbness in toes. Peripheral neuropathy generally appears in the feet and legs and can start with a sensation loss in the toes. This can worsen over time and should be treated as soon as possible.
Diabetic neuropathy usually happens due to the person not taking care of their diabetes correctly. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can damage the nerves in the toes, causing numbness.
Excessive alcohol consumption will damage various parts of the body, the feet included, and will damage the nerves in a similar way to diabetes.