Toe Numbness | What Is the Tingling Feeling in My Toes?

What Is the Tingling Feeling in My Toes?

Do your toes sometimes get a tingling feeling? Maybe you’re bothered by a pins and needles sensation or you have an inability to feel touch, heat or cold.  Any one of these symptoms are indications of toe numbness—a sign that something is interfering with normal feeling in the toes. Most of the time, cases of toe numbness are mild and go away on their own, but sometimes numbness lasts longer or comes and goes.

Numbness may go away if you change shoes or avoid exposure to cold conditions, but numbness could be due to an underlying medical condition that requires treatment like diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD) or multiple sclerosis (MS). If your toes are numb, you need to find out why and treat if it’s necessary.

Minor Problems Causing Toe Numbness Include:

Tight Footwear: Tight shoes can restrict circulation in your toes which can cause tingling and numbness. Make sure your shoes are the proper size and width. If you have a foot injury requiring a cast or wrap, make sure you can still feel your toes with the cast or wrap in place.

Heavy Exercise: Running and walking are great forms of exercise but doing either activity for extended periods can temporarily cause numbness in the toes and feet. It should go away after you stop working out. Proper fitting footwear may minimize exercise-related numbness.

Exposure to cold: Too much exposure to cold can lead to frostbite, possibly causing permanent tissue damage and lead to amputation. Your feet can even experience numbness if you’re indoors by going barefoot in a cold house or building. If that should happen, put on a pair of thick socks or slippers to warm up your cold feet.

Time to go to the Doctor when Dealing with These Toe Numbness:

Reynaud’s Disease: This happens when your blood vessels respond too strongly to cold and stress-causing numbness, tingling and a change to a pale or blue color. Keeping the body warm can help prevent Reynaud’s phenomenon, but severe cases may require medication.

Bunions: Tight, narrow shoes can cause these bony bumps at the base of the big toe. Narrow shoes sometimes push the big toe inward and over time, that pressure causes bone deformity. If you have a bunion, see a foot and ankle specialist and wear properly fitted footwear.

Broken toe: A fracture, due to an accident, fall or hitting the toe on a hard object, can cause numbness or tingling. If you think you’ve broken your toe, see a doctor for treatment to ensure proper healing.

Illnesses Involving Toe Numbness: Peripheral artery disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Morton’s neuroma and treatment for serious illnesses such as chemotherapy for cancer can cause numbness and tingling. These and other illnesses which may cause toe numbness as a side effect need medical attention. Your doctor may ask about symptoms or current health conditions and medications or supplements that you may be taking. The first step towards successful treatment is to find the root cause.

Numbness isn’t a disease, but a symptom of something else. Never ignore toe numbness.


If you’re suffering numbness in your toes, it’s best you see your podiatrist for a full evaluation to determine what next steps would be your best option. To make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, call 336-375-6990 or visit to request an appointment.

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