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toes go numb while on elliptical and on tread mill and then the arches start hurting

When I am on working out doing cardio my toes on both feet go numb and then by they time I am done my arches hurt. I have orthodics two different pair. One pair was made by physical therapist where they casted the foot and sent the cast in to be fitted and the recent pair is dr. scholls where I went and stood on machine and it marked the low spots and then told you what style you needed.

I went to a running company and started out with Brooks Diad shoes and that even made my left knee hurt bad, went back and they went with Nike and still no luck no matter if I leave shoe insoles in or if I put either orthodics in. At the Running Company they said do not put the orthodics in but then the knee kept getting worse.

I am frustrated and do not know where to turn. I will go back to Running Company to see what they say as I paid to much to have this much pain everytime I work out and I try to work out 6 days a week. I try to do 4 miles daily but by 2 my feet really hurt.

Any advise would be greatly appreciate. To the point where I will just go to Payless Shoes or even Walmart to buy a pair of tennis shoes as seems spending the money on a good pair is not working.



Hi Jan,

Problem number one, as it appears to me, is where you are getting your medical advice. Shoes stores are not the place; a doctor's office would be a better choice.
Based on your remarks two possible conditions come to mind. One would be tarsal tunnel syndrome which is the foot equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition could cause both of your symptoms, numbness in the toes and pain in the arches. Theoretically, orthotics should help the condition because in many instances excessive flattening of the foot creates the problem, but this is not the only cause of tarsal tunnel. I do not know what kind of orthotics the Physical Therapist prescribed for you but I do know the types of orthotics sold by the Dr. Scholl's display and in most cases are worthless.
The second possible cause of your pain could be what is known as a radiculopathy or nerve irritation in your lower spine. As you increase your walking, the nerves coming out of your lower back are irritated and depending on which nerve we are talking about, your toes could become numb although I am not sure how the arch pain would play into this.
So as you can see your first need a primary diagnosis and an evaluation of your gait as well as your foot structure to help determine the source of the pain. Once that is identified, appropriate treatment can be instituted. Although an orthotic may be required it is not the only type of treatment that may be necessary. Orthotics can help with a multitude of foot problems but they are not necessarily a cure for every type of foot pain. I would suggest you seek the services of a good foot specialist in your area.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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