Numbness of the toes generally is a result of conditions that affect the nerves and/or blood vessels that supply the foot. Numbness of the toes is often associated with tingling. Numbness and tingling sensations in the toes is referred to as paresthesia of the toes.
The most common cause of toe numbness is direct compression of the nerves of the foot from footwear from shoes. Numbness of the toe can occur because of injury to the foot, nerve damage (neuropathy), and poor circulation to the foot (such as with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease). Numbness to the foot can also be caused by irritation of nerves in the low back with radiculopathy and herniated disc, Guillain-Barré syndrome, frostbite, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, beriberi, multiple sclerosis (MS), Raynaud's phenomenon, and vasculitis. There is increased potential for irritation of nerves in the foot when skeletal deformity occurs, such as from bunions.
Firestein, Gary S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, Ninth Ed. China: Elsevier Saunders, 2012.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Burning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health
Foot pain and heel pain can be serious health problems. Discover information about cold feet, itchy feet, burning feet and...
Feet Facts Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Did you know that certain shoes and common diseases can wreak havoc on your feet? If you've been having problems with your feet,...
Picture of Foot
The end of the leg on which a person normally stands and walks. See a picture of Foot Anatomy and learn more about the health...
Picture of Foot Anatomy Detail
The end of the leg on which a person normally stands and walks. See a picture of Foot Anatomy Detail and learn more about the...
Worst Shoes for Your Foot Health and Beauty With Pictures
Stilettos, platforms or flip-flops...which are the worst shoes for your feet? See how some of the hottest styles can be torture...
Causes of Numbness Toes
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which irritation of the wrist's median nerve causes tingling and numbness of the thumb,...
Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica
Degenerative disc disease makes the disc more susceptible to herniation (rupture) which can lead to localized or radiating pain....
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Diabetic Neuropathy (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment)
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve...
Frostbite (Frostnip and Other Cold Weather-Related Injuries)
There are two categories to cold weather-related injuries. 1) no freezing of body tissue (trench foot and chilblains), and 2)...
Guillain-Barré Syndrome is an autoimmune disease of the nervous system due to damage to the myelin sheath around nerves....
Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is a disfiguring disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. The disease is spread...
A Morton's neuroma is an inflamed nerve between the bones at the ball of the foot. Symptoms include a burning, sharp pain on the...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage...
Peripheral Neuropathy (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Medications)
Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. Symptoms may include numbness,...
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatments)
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...
Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by a pale-blue-red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to...
Sciatica pain, caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, typically radiates from the low back to behind the thigh to below the...
Vasculitis (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Types)
Vasculitis (arteritis, angiitis) is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood...
Other Causes of Numbness Toes
- Foot Compression (Tight Shoes, Casts, etc.)
- Foot Trauma Injury
- Peroneal Nerve Irritation
Examples of Medications for Numbness Toes
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter