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Big toe numbness

Both my big toes went partially numb about a week ago and have stayed that way since. The right toe a bit more spread than the left toe and in both it is more the "belly". The numbness has not spread to other toes neither grown within the big toes themselves. It doesn't hurt it just feels very strange.


The days before and after this started I had been walking a lot and for many hours in a row (12-14 hours) carrying weight at times and under intense heat and high levels of humidity (in Ghana) because of work but mainly with open relatively comfortable sandals. I naturally wound up with quite a bit of backache and short of breath. I had many blisters but they healed well.

I also had a sciatica "crisis", but I frequently get that after a long or uncomfortable car ride (which had been the case.) It was not really bad, just a continuous reminder that the nerve was pinched.

I was recently tested for diabetes and it came back negative.

I am now back home and am just wondering whether I should be concerned and looking further into this.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Hi,
There seems to be an obvious "cause and effect" here. You did a lot of walking carrying heavy weight and now you have numbness in both toes. The 2 things that come to mind are either a local nerve irritation at the level of the toes, possibly from sandals not designed for a lot of walking carrying heavy object, or perhaps a radiculopathy, or nerve irritation coming out of your lower spine.
I would think either cause should improve over a short period of time if you are no longer doing a lot of walking, if not, then a trip to the doctor would be indicated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jul 22, 2012
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both my big toes are numb
by: Anonymous

about 6 months ago i was working in the oil fields putting in 12-14 hour days also. it was february so i hadnt worn flip flops in awhile but i was wearing steel toed boots and they were reletively new but already broke in. suddenly one day at work i felt my toes go numb like they were falling asleep so i loosened my boots and walked around a bit to get the blood flowing and one of my toes came back but went numb again that night. at first i thought it was from this stuff i was using for my athletes foot but it wasnt. my grandpa has diabetes so i was certain that was it cuz it skips a generation. i cant afford to go to the doctor but ive done alot of researching and im convinced it was just too much stress on my feet or something. the numbness hasnt spread to my other toes or fingers and its really just the outside parts of it. ive poked em with a knife and theres feeling down deeper still so im not worried about it. but if anyone knows anything please post it

Jul 25, 2011
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Numb Toes
by: Anonymous

I think that my numb toes are due to wearing fitflops. I started wearing them back in April and now realise that the problem started at around that time too. My feet are great all day, especially when wearing the fitflops but when I wake in the morning or in some cases am woken in the night, my toes and the tops of my feet are numb. I am going to wean myself off the fitflops and see if things improve. I had a check to see if I was diabetic too but I am not and, therefore, I do think this is nerve damage caused by the shoes.

May 18, 2010
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numb left big toe and part of 2nd toe
by: marva saunders

I have had a numb left big toe and inside scond toe for about 10 months. I went to the doctor several times and they have not been able to explaine it. I figured out, that I bought a pair of Fit Flops a year ago and wore them as house shoes and outside all summer, I noticed that my gate caused the leather between the toe to move to the side...I stopped wearing the shoes and in a few days I had feeling in the toes...I don't blame the shoe it's my way of walking in the shoe..

Jul 23, 2009
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Left Side Left Big Toe Numb
by: Anonymous

I got very nervous when I saw this could be a sign of diabetes, but after reading several other reasons that could cause this, I remembered that I stepped on a honeybee about two weeks ago with my left foot. The stinger stayed in and I was in great pain. My husband removed the stinger for me, but about a week ago all of a sudden it felt like the stinger was still there. I put alcohol on my foot to kill the pain, but it has come back several times. I wonder now if this is related?

Oct 15, 2008
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Big Toe Numbness
by: Anonymous

I spent an entire weekend walking my old college campus for homecoming weekend in high heels. Clearly these shoes were not made for walking. Well by Sunday afternoon I felt numbness in my right big toe. I have never had any diabetic issues before. I guess old age is to blame....well not that old...lol.

Sep 23, 2008
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Big toes numbness
by: all better

Hi, and thank you for this response. I just wanted to add that altough it took a good couple of months the numbness has finally (gradually) gone away. It was quite worrysome to me because somehow it felt as if they had gone "dead" and I only sensed them when, as you say, they rubbed against something. Needless to say it was a relief to see them come back to life ; ) Good luck at your new job!

Sep 22, 2008
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Big Toe Numbness
by: This Guy

To whom it may concern:

I'm in a vert similar situation of late. I recently started bartending at a new joint, to which they required that I work back-to-back doubles. Prior to the shift, I helped clean and stock to ready it for opening day. I found that following those rather demanding days, my left big toe went numb, and has remained that way for about a week or so. It doesn't hurt -- it just tingles every now and then. I could feel the tingles more prominantly when I'm putting on socks, or when the toe rubs against a sheet or blanket. So, I'd assume that the stress you put on your feet is the underlying cause for numbness, because it's most likely the cause of mine.

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