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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Other Causes of Numbness Toes
- Foot Compression (Tight Shoes, Casts, etc.)
- Foot Trauma Injury
- Peroneal Nerve Irritation