Numbness In Big Toe

What is Numbness In Big Toe?

Numbness in big toe can mean a number of reasons. Usually, we feel the numbness after a long day or when we wake up in the morning. The big toes are usually affected when illness occurs, which is why we need to take care of our feet in general. The numbness of the big toe would vary from one person to another.

Others would complain of “pins and needles” sensation while others have accompanying tingling sensation. It is important that one should assess the toes as the sensations are felt. Somehow, source of the numbness may be from an outside factor.

Causes of Numbness In Big Toe

Numbness in the big toe is basically a symptom from a disease process. Some conditions which were not diagnosed earlier or have been progressing without the knowledge of the patient can arise to such manifestation especially when the blood circulation and nerves are involved. Other than that, disorders provide a big role in inducing numbness in the big toe. This can be a serious disorder or diseases which were not properly managed or it can be a result from physical factors such as the following:

Circulation problem

This is a great factor in contributing numbness of the big toe. When there is a problem in the circulation such as simple constriction of blood vessels in the feet, tingling sensations would most likely be experienced by the patient.

This may not only be localized but can also affect the whole feet itself. Position can also add to triggering numbness such as standing in a long period of time, sitting in a cross-legged manner and in standing or sitting in an awkward, uncomfortable position can lead to numbness.

Nerve compression

Nerve compression can either be from an injury/trauma or from prolonged stationary positioning of the feet. This should be taken with immediate medical attention in order to avoid worsening of the sensation.

Peripheral neuropathy

A damaged blood vessel in the big toe can result to peripheral neuropathy. This condition arises when our blood vessels are damaged that eventually affects the nerves. This is a common complication from chronic smoking and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. When not treated, the numbness will be an initial sign for nerve damage and can lead permanent loss of the affected limb.

Numbness In Big Toe


Chronic diabetes and peripheral numbness are correlated disorders. Diabetes can result to numbness due to fact that nerve damage has been incurred because of improper management. In diabetes, it is common that the lower limbs are the areas with less sensation because of peripheral neuropathy and from less blood circulation.


The choice of footwear is highly influential in numbness of toes and feet. There are many types of shoes that can possibly result to discomfort. Uncomfortable shoes are obviously the source of the unwanted sensation. The toes can be the direct recipient of the discomfort when wearing uncomfortable shoes. Numbness in the big toe is result from circulation problems or basically constriction because of tight shoes, even loose shoes. These ill-fitting shoes can induce trauma which shouldn’t be worn to avoid untoward results.

Gouty arthritis

This is a common cause for numbness of the toe. The big toe is a common area of affectation when gout has become uncontrolled. When uric acid levels have become high and undermanaged, a podagra may develop. This podagra is a manifestation of gout which can be very debilitating in discomfort as it’s the collection of gout crystals in the big toe. Eventually, its effect on the big toe is numbness and swelling.


This is a result of wearing shoes which do not fit well. This can be easily identified as there is displacement of the toe thus resulting to pain and discomfort. Eventually, as the pain sensation intensifies, numbness would result. Bunions should not be left untreated for this can only worsen the lateral displacement of the toe.


This has been linked to numbness in the big toe. Most obese people have less blood supply to their feet.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

This is considered as a cause for its nerve-related condition. When there is deficiency in this vitamin, possible neural damaging may occur. As a result, symptoms shall arise such as numbness and tingling sensation of the big toe.


This is a rare condition that can result to numbness of the big toe. Sciatica is considered a big nerve of the body which when damaged, may result to eventual numbness of the toes.

Treatment For Numbness In Big Toe

Treatment for numbness in big toe is directed to the cause. As numbness is a manifestation of a certain condition, treating its source is the main aim in the treatment plan. The following are some interventions, in general, made for numbness in big toe:

Find the source or cause of the symptom and treat them. In circulation problems, one can avoid numbness by choosing proper footwear which is basically one factor for initiating development of constriction. Avoid sitting and standing in a long period of time. From time to time, changing one’s position is necessary to avoid untoward results. Somehow, nerve compression cannot be avoided especially when an unprecedented injury has occurred.

But other causes of nerve compression when prolonged stationary positioning is avoided. Diabetes and peripheral neuropathy come together and can be avoided at the same time. Proper treatment for diabetes should be done and followed all the way. Another causative condition, gout, can be managed easily when treatment regimen is followed.

Proper diet such as avoiding rich in purine foods can avoid uric acid crystal formation thus avoiding the flare up of symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated with supplementation which the doctor can readily prescribe.

Orthotic device

An orthotic device has been developed in treating possible cause of numbness of the big toe, including bunions. This can take some pressure off from the affected nerve thus return of normal sensation in the area can be attained after this treatment.



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