Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
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.
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Causes of Numbness Toes
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Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica
Degenerative disc disease makes the disc more susceptible to herniation (rupture) which can lead to localized or radiating pain....
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Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the nerves; this is related to the blood glucose of the...
Frostbite (Cold Weather-Related Injuries)
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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...
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS Symptoms, Causes, and Life Expectancy)
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Peripheral Vascular Disease
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Other Causes of Numbness Toes
- Foot Compression (Tight Shoes, Casts, etc.)
- Foot Trauma Injury
- Peroneal Nerve Irritation
Examples of Medications for Numbness Toes
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