Numb Toes When Running – Causes And Treatment

Numb toes when running.

Do your toes become numb when you run?

Foot numbness is a not-so-common but troubling condition that often occurs when running.

An unusual tingling or pins-and-needles sensation not only annoys the scalp but also brings anxiety into an otherwise blissful run.

The runner’s toes tingle and feel numb, and the numbness can progress along the top or bottom of the foot and sometimes to the ankle.


Why Do My Toes Go Numb When I Run?

Foot numbness most commonly includes nerve compression.

The most possible compression site would be the particular location of the foot numbness.

The numbness on the adjacent sides of the two toes shows a problem with the toes.

Toe numbness is a condition that happens when the feeling in the toes is disturbed.

You can experience a loss of emotion, a tingling, or even a burning sensation.

This can make it tough or even painful to walk.

Toe numbness may be a temporary symptom, or it may be a chronic symptom—a long-term symptom.

Chronic toe numbness can affect your ability to walk and may contribute to pain and disability that you may not be conscious of.

Although toe numbness can be a cause of concern, it is rarely considered a medical emergency.

The most frequently affected area is the outside of the third toe and the inside of the fourth toe.

Identified as Morton’s neuroma, the nerve slowly grows a thickened scar tissue layer.

Numb toes when running arises by grinding the pavement, cramming the forefoot into a thin sole, or crowding the forefoot with a steady, almost imperceptible swelling.

Now, let’s discuss some major causes due to which numb toes when running happen. 


1. Overtraining

Starting a full-force running plan as a beginner, or unexpectedly expanding the pace and distances of the daily runs, will lead to muscle trauma—essentially, damage to the muscles in the feet that cause the tissue to swell and to the nerves.

Even if you’re an experienced runner, you want to improve your distance, pace, or time in increments so you don’t overstep the boundaries of your capacity.

If you’re new to running, take the time to build up your endurance and power steadily.

For example, adopt a fitness schedule in which you alternate walking and running, minimizing the amount of time or distance you walk in equal proportion to the amount of time or distance you run.


2. Structure of Your Foot

The anatomy of your feet your arches—may play a part in numbness while running.

If the feet are flat (meaning the whole bottom of each foot is in touch with the floor while you are barefoot) or if they are too flexible, you are more likely to feel nerve compression.

This can also be fixed with shoe inserts called orthotics.

You can buy implants at a pharmacy or department store, but for the best outcomes, have a podiatrist check your feet.

He may be able to guide you in choosing an over-the-counter orthotics, but if there isn’t a ready-made one that fits you, he may recommend personalized orthotics.


3. Incorrect Running Form

Often a person’s running form will place pressure on the nerves of the foot that contributes to numbness.

For eg, overstepping—landing the heel first of your foot in front of the center of gravity of your body—puts your feet in touch with the ground for too long.

To fix this typical running fault, try to shorten the speed and concentrate on landing at the mid-sole with each footfall.

This way your feet will rest directly beneath your torso.

Run as you’re stepping on hot coals, keeping your movements light and fast.

There are other benefits of fixing the habit of overstepping: saving energy and lowering the chance of shin splints.

A physical trainer or a running coach will help you fine-tune your form if you need more detailed advice.


4. Tightness of Muscles

Stiff, rigid muscles just about everywhere in the body will contribute to anatomical disorders that place pressure on the nerves in the feet.

If you’re seated at a desk all day, for example, your hip flexors are bound to be tight, and unless you manage to keep your body tightly erect, your spine is likely to bend over, placing pressure on your sciatic nerve.

There are, of course, a variety of ways to alleviate muscle tightness, both as part of the running regimen and in between.

Take a few minutes and do some warm-up exercises before you start running to lose your muscles and get ready to work.

During your run, make sure to stretch as well.

If you are vulnerable to muscle tightness, incorporate flexibility training in your workout routine.

Yoga practice can increase the stability and balance of the body.

Using a foam roller or other massage tool to hammer out kinks in places where tightness affects muscles, such as quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, and IT bands.

Daily sports therapy or some other kind of bodywork will even help prevent the muscles from folding.


5. Peripheral Neuropathy

This is the other potentially significant source of numbness in the foot.

Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve injury that is part of the mechanism that transmits input from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.

It is also a symptom of a medical condition.

For certain people, foot numbness or tingling is the first symptom of diabetes.

When you have ruled out the possible causes of numbness of your feet, visit your doctor to see if you might be operating on pins and needles because of a medical problem.


6. Neuroma

If neither of these strategies provides relief, you might have a nerve disorder called Morton’s neuroma.

The disease is a debilitating case in which the nerve in the foot between the toes is swollen or thickened due to scar tissue.

The most prominent area for forming a neuroma is the space between the third and fourth toes, although the area between the second and third toes can also be affected.

This disease is particularly prevalent in women who wear poor-fitting shoes for a long time.


7. Diabetes

High blood sugar and fat from diabetes will affect the nerves, something that doctors also called diabetic neuropathy.

If it affects the hips and legs (or arms and hands), it is considered peripheral neuropathy.

As many as half of patients with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetes is dangerous, and if numbness in the toes and other foot symptoms associated with the condition go unrecognized or untreated, it may lead to severe complications, like an amputation.

Have the doctor check your blood sugar level to see if diabetes is the source of numbness of your toes.


8. Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Cold weather or stress can delay the flow of blood to the extremities of some people with Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Toes may be numb and also change colors: red, white, or blue.

There are two forms, primary and secondary. Main occurs on its own—the origin is unknown—and is usually harmless.

But secondary Raynaud’s is related to disorders that damage the autoimmune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Your doctor can diagnose Raynaud’s disease and tell you whether it may be associated with other diseases.

Most of Raynaud’s therapies (meaning, not any associated conditions) typically do not require medications, although, in extreme situations, others can be administered by specialists.


Numb Toes From Shoes – Can my toes get Numb when I run due to my shoes?

numb toes when running
Numb toes from shoes

Wearing tight shoes can shut off the movement of the toes, which can induce tingling and numbness.

Similarly, wearing a tight cast or a foot injury cover can interfere with the proper circulation of the toes.

Check that the shoes are the right size and width.

If a person needs a casting or other protection for a foot injury, they can make sure that they can still feel their toes in place of the casting or wrap.

Numb toes when running can be also because of your shoes.

There can be two cases due to which Numb toes when running because of your shoes.

Let’s discuss one by one.


1. Proper Footwear

Too-tight shoes that place pressure on the nerves in the foot are the primary cause of foot numbness in the runners.

If you believe that this could be the cause for foot numbness in your situation, it’s easy to repair it: buy new shoes.

Travel to a store that specializes in running shoes and asks a skilled fitter to make you understand not just the size of your foot but also the shape of your foot.

For example, if your foot is big, you can need a shoe with an extra-large toebox (the area at the front of the shoe that holds your forefoot).

The fitter may also take into account your running gait.

Often numbness occurs as a result of a biomechanical condition that can be fixed with the right foot.

If you’ve picked out a shoe, buy a pair that’s a half to a full-size shoe bigger than your street shoe size.

This is important because when you run your feet swell, particularly when it’s hot and sweaty outside.

Going up half or full size can also fit thicker socks if you’re running in cold weather.


2. Your Laces are so much tight

Numb Toes When Running
A girl tightening her shoelaces

Often it’s not the shoes that are the issue, it’s how you wear them—specifically, how you lace them and tie them.

It’s common to pull extra tight laces to get a comfortable fit at the ankle, but this can isolate nerves at the top of the foot at the ankle, a region known as the tarsal tunnel, close to the carpal tunnel in the wrist.

This may be a special issue for those with high arches.

Try to loosen the laces around your ankles.

If this causes your feet to feel uneasy, try various lacing strategies to find one that holds your shoes snugly on your feet without putting unnecessary pressure on the top of your foot.

You might also try to place some padding underneath your shoe’s tongue.


How To Get Rid Of Toes Numbness?

The runner can try simple measures to reduce the strain.

This involves the use of a shoe with sufficient toe space and the use of a pad in a shoe put under the forefoot.

This can gently scatter the offending bones apart.

First, the injection of cortisone can help to provide relief.

When all cautious efforts fail, surgery relieves the discomfort that is also synonymous with numbness.

However, the toes can stay numb forever.

The numbness of the whole bottom of the foot, or just part of the bottom of the foot, happens where the nerve is squeezed at the ankle.

The interior of the ankle is referred to as the tarsal tube.

The three tendons, the artery, the nerves, and the tibial nerve are flowing into this tunnel. 

Numbness of the feet, top or bottom feet, or toes can be treated with certain forms of physical therapy, such as anodyne therapy.

In diabetics, better control of their glucose levels can minimize the feeling of numbness in the legs.

Lack of B vitamins can also result in an increase in foot numbness as well as in alpha-lipoic acid.

If the nerve entrapment is known to cause numbness in the foot, legs, or toes, then the nerve decompression, either at the level of the spinal cord or in the leg or foot itself, may provide relief.

If you want to get rid of numb toes when running then follow the solutions mentioned below:


Home Remedies To Cure Numb Toes When Running

Numb Toes When Running
Home remedies to cure toe numbness

There are precautions you can take to avoid or reduce your foot numbness:

Purchase bigger shoes and make sure there’s enough space in the front toe box so you can wiggle your toes easily.

Buy shoes with a stiffer sole; shoes with a folding sole can cause swelling and damage to the ball of the foot, where the nerves to the toes move through the bones.

Don’t lace your shoes as tightly as you do.

Lose the laces on your shoes to alleviate any pain points on your foot.

Try to wear lighter socks that take up less space in your shoe.

Pay attention to the form you are running.

Stop “slapping” or “pounding” your feet against the ground when you’re running.

Do not abruptly raise the duration or distance of your run.

This could lead to trauma.


Medical Treatment To Cure Numb Toes When Running

If these measures do not ease the foot numbness, a foot and ankle specialist, an orthopedic surgeon or a sports medicine doctor may be in order.

The doctor will inquire about your medical records and rule out any conditions that can affect your foot numbness.

You can have X-rays to check your foot to try and find the cause of nerve compression.

You can use special shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory medications, or special exercises.

Occasionally, more extreme cases of foot numbness, particularly neuroma-related numbness, can require treatment with nerve injections or surgery.


Final Verdict

People should not neglect their numb toes when running.

While it is mostly harmless, it may be a symptom of a health condition.

Working with a doctor gives you the best chance to cope with some sort of problem.

Although it can be serious in extreme situations, the vast majority of runners who have numb legs would have quick remedies, something as basic as lacing your shoes differently.

No matter what the answer is, you’ll certainly feel a lot better at running your feet up to 100 percent!

As runners, it’s easy to take our legs for granted.

But they’re an important part of making it possible for us to run.



1. What is a runner’s toenail?

Runner’s toenail, also known as Jogger’s toenail, is when your nail or surrounding area becomes black due to the repeated stress of running.

The blood leakage from damaged blood vessels causes discoloration. Medically, a runner’s toenail is the same as the subungual hematoma. Subungual means underneath the nail. Hematoma is an accumulation of blood outside the blood vessel.


2. Why I experience pain and numbness when I run?

Numbness and tingling are typical symptoms for both beginner and professional runners. Most runners feel mild discomfort or pin-and-needle feelings, usually in their hands or feet, during and momentarily during their runs. Typically, these feelings are just mild inconveniences; however, there could be indicators of serious health concerns if they continue.


3. What are the signs of toe numbness?

Toe numbness is an abnormal feeling that frequently decreases the ability to sense your toes or the ground beneath you. You can also experience the tingling on your legs or your toes as the feeling recovers, and the numbness fades. Numbness will also lead you to feel pins and needles between your toes.


4. When should I go for medical treatment for numbness in my toes?

If you feel any of the below-mentioned symptoms then you should immediately rush for medical treatment.

  • Difficulty to see from one or both eyes
  • Facial Drop
  • Unable to think or speak properly
  • Balance Loss
  • Muscular deficiency
  • Toe numbness that develops after a recent head trauma
  • Sudden lack of feeling or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden, serious headaches
  • Tremors, screaming, or twitching motions

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