Why big toe numbness occurs while running?

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There are various causes for big toe numbness during running. Wearing tight shoes and lacings can crush the nerves and trigger loss of sensation in the toes including the big toe. If using a comfortable pair of shoes could not help, a doctor should be consulted to determine if there is a root cause of the numbness.

Tight or constricting shoes

Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes can crush the foot nerves resulting to big toe numbness. The footwear used must fit comfortably in all dimensions including the width, height and length.

Make sure that the big toe is not in contact with the end of the shoe. When lacing the shoes, avoid lacing too tightly that might also crush the nerve and result to big toe numbness.

Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes can crush the foot nerves resulting to big toe numbness.


When running, the nerves on the base of the feet are subjected to a lot of pressure. The nerves beneath the balls of the feet are typically affected. The pressure can trigger big toe numbness or tingling.

A swollen nerve or neuroma might also be responsible for big toe numbness. In such cases, ultrasonic imaging is a method used to pinpoint the presence of a neuroma.


Orthotic devices particularly insoles can provide a break from big toe numbness. The placement of supports beneath the toes might increase the pressure placed on the toes and aggravate the numbness.

An orthotic device for runners must provide enough space for the toes and should be rigid and conform closely to the foot arch.

Spinal issues

The numbness that occurs in the lower body might an indication of an issue in the lower spine such as a herniated disc. The degeneration of the disc and spine misalignment can lead to big toe numbness. In addition, nerve-root syndromes in the lower back can also lead to low back pain and leg discomfort.

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