21 Jan Do Your Toes Get Numb After Running?
Toes Get Numb After Running?
You enjoy running, and it’s good for you. Sometimes, however, your toes don’t seem happy with your choice to take them for a long, pounding run down the street or on the treadmill. Do your toes sometimes get numb after a run? Here are some causes for this condition and some suggestions for dealing with it.
What Causes Numb Toes?
Poorly fitting shoes: If your running shoes are too tight, they exert constant, intense pressure on your toes. This cuts off blood circulation to your toes and causes numbness. Your feet spread out when you run. If your toe box isn’t wide enough, consider getting shoes in a larger size or lacing them differently. Some runners use every other loop to get a slightly looser fit.
Previous injury: Have you ever broken a toe or sprained an ankle? Unfortunately, those old injuries can come back to haunt you. If past trauma involved damage to your feet, you may have lingering tissue damage. Excessive exercise, running without warming up or running on hard surfaces can aggravate the pain and cause numbness in your toes and feet.
Low arches: If you have low or flat arches, you are more likely to overpronate, which means turning your feet inward as you run. This affects the distribution of your weight and forces your body to pitch forward over your toes. This places a lot of pressure on your toes that can leave them numb.
Back problems: If you’ve had back problems, you may have damaged your sciatic nerve. This nerve connects directly to your legs and feet. That can lead to numbness in your toes and soles.
What You Can Do About It
- Get the right shoes. Look for shoes that give you at least an inch between your toes and the front of the shoe. Consider getting a fitting from a sports therapist or podiatrist who specializes in sports medicine.
- Change your gait. If your running gait is causing your numbness, try to change it so you can distribute your weight differently. A podiatrist can analyze your gait to help you determine if a change will help.
- Add walking. Slow down slightly by adding intermittent walking to your runs. Try adding a minute or two of walking to every five minutes of running. After a few weeks of intermittent walking, try straight running. The numbness may be gone.
- Massage your toes. Regular stretching and massage will help your toes stay more flexible. This will also ease the pain that may accompany the numbness. This won’t resolve the underlying problems, but it will help your feet feel better.
- Contact a doctor. If these methods don’t give you relief, contact a podiatrist. You may need an x-ray to determine if you have a medical condition. Your doctor may also prescribe custom orthotics, stretching exercises, or other treatments.
Get Help for Runner’s Feet at Shuman Podiatry
Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine is your Loudoun County foot specialist. If you’re having trouble with your toes, feet, or ankles, call us for an appointment. We’ll keep you running at top form.