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Numbness of the feet and toes

Numbness in the feet and toes can be caused by many conditions and usually accompanied by a tingling feeling. Sometimes, numbness in the feet or toes happens when sitting and standing in one place for a prolonged period of time. Stimulate circulation of blood by moving around or by moving the foot while sitting.

Causes of numbness of feet and toes

  • Compression of the nerves in the foot due to the type of footwear used
  • Numbness can be caused by tarsal tunnel syndrome which is numbness felt at the bottom of the feet due to a bone spur, cyst and overpronation.
  • Morton’s neuroma which is the enlargement of layers of tissues that surrounds a neuron.
  • Peripheral artery disease which refers to numbness when performing activities like walking or running usually in the calf.
  • Wearing tight shoes and shoelaces. Lacing the running shoes very tightly or wearing shoes that are too small or does not suit the shape of the feet.

Symptoms

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased numbness, tingling sensation or pain while walking
  • Pin-and-needles or prickling sensation
    Numbness

    Increased numbness, tingling sensation or pain while walking

  • Itchiness
  • Rash
  • Muscle spasms
  • Leg numbness
  • Low back pain
  • Breathing and walking difficulties
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Weakness or loss of strength

Treatment

  • Perform regular exercises to prevent numbness or just take a short walk.
  • Low impact exercises such as swimming and biking can lessen numbness of the area.
  • Stretch very well before performing any workout, wear proper shoes for the exercise and should be performed on level surfaces.
  • Avoid sitting on the feet or crossing the legs for a prolonged time to prevent numbness of the area.
  • Elevate the leg above the level of the heart to increase the flow of blood in the area.
  • Wear a compression hose or socks to stimulate proper circulation of blood and lessen the numbness. Apply lotion that contains capsaicin that can relieve the numbness of the area.
  • Avoid wearing excessively tight clothing, tight pants, socks or garments on the lower area of the body since these can cause reduction of the flow of blood to the feet which leads to numbness. Loosen these items to allow an increase in the flow of blood.
  • Massage gently the numb area of the foot to increase the blood circulation and lessen the numbness.
  • Warm the feet using a heated blanket or heating pad to prevent numbness of the area.
  • Avoid wearing high heels or shoes that pinch the toes and result to numbness, and ill-fitting shoes that are too small especially when performing exercises.
  • Lose some weight if the affected person is obese.

If the numbness of the feet happens frequently, there is weakness, loss bladder or bowel control, paralysis and a slurred speech, seek medical help immediately.

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