Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (2024)


Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (1)

November 6, 2023

Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable sensation of numbness in your toes? It’s a temporary disconnect between your brain and lower extremities andmayleave you wondering, “What’s going on?”

Numb toesrange from a minor problem to a potentially severe issue, and understanding the reasons behind this unique sensation is the first step toward finding relief.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why your toes sometimes go on strike, keep reading to learn more about the leading causes of numb toes and when to seek medical attention.

Numb toes: The most common causes

Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (2)

There are several causes of numb toes. Below, you’ll find some of the top contributors and their signs.

Poor Circulation

Reduced blood flow to the toes can lead to numbness. This can occur due to sitting or standing in one position for too long, wearing tight shoes, or sitting with your legs crossed. In these cases, the numbness isusuallytemporary and goes away once you change your position or remove any constricting clothing or footwear.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (3)

Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the peripheral nerves, often due to diabetes, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, or other underlying medical conditions. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and pain in the toes and feet.

Nerve Compression

Conditions like sciatica or a herniated disc in the lower back can compress the nerves that supply sensation to the legs and feet, causing numbness and tingling in the toes.

Frostbite or Frostnip

Frostbiteis an injury caused by freezing the skin and underlying tissues. Your skin becomes cold and red, then numb, followed by hardening and paleness. Depending on the severity, you may experience frostnip (the early onset of frostbite or superficial frost bite) or deep frostbite, which involves more severe stages of nerve damage.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Like carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist,tarsal tunnel syndromeinvolves compression of the tibial nerve in the ankle, leading to numbness and tingling in the toes. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space inside the ankle next to the ankle bones, through which the tibial nerve runs. A thick ligament covers the tunnel and helps contain its inner workings – veins, arteries, tendons, and nerves. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the most common kind of nerve compression in the ankle. Underlying causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome include direct trauma to the tarsal tunnel, flat feet, fallen arches, growths in the tarsal tunnel, and varicose veins.

Morton’s Neuroma

Another type of nerve compression, Morton’s neuroma, may lead to numbness in your toes. The most common site is at the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. As this nerve is thicker than its surroundings, it’s at a greater risk of being blocked, which can cause numbness in the toes. You may feel a numbing sensation or like you have a pebble in your shoe.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’scauses blood vessels in the fingers and toes to constrict excessively in response to cold temperatures or stress. This can lead to numbness and discoloration of the affected digits.


Trauma to the foot or toes, such as fractures or compression injuries, can cause temporary numbness. For instance, ankle or Achilles heel injuries can directly or indirectly impact the tarsal tunnel region.

Infections or Abcesses

Toe or foot infections can lead to numbness, mainly if they spread to the nerves.

Circulatory Disorders

Conditions like atherosclerosis or blood clot formation can reduce blood flow to the toes, causing numbness.

Tight Footwear

Shoes that are too narrow in width or too small in length can compress your toes and reduce blood circulation. Ensure you are correctly fitted with the right pair of footwear to allow enough space for your toes to move. You can even do a shoe sizing and fitting session here at Feet First Clinic, choosing from leading footwear.

When should you seek medical help for numb toes?

Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (4)

We recommend that you seek help for numb toes if any of the following apply:

  1. The numbness in your toes is persistent, recurring, or unexplained.
  2. You have diabetes – Numbness in the feet can be a sign of diabetic neuropathy, which requires proper management.
  3. You experience numbness, weakness, coordination loss, or other neurological symptoms.
  4. There is a sudden onset of numbness, especially after an injury or in combination with other concerning symptoms.

It’s crucial to remember that numbness in the toes can be a symptom of various underlying conditions. An accurate diagnosis from a healthcare provider can be helpful when treating and ruling out any serious underlying issues.

Get the feeling back in your toes at Feet First Clinic

Our team is trained to handle all your foot health concerns including numbness in your toes. Call us at416-769-3338orBook Your Assessment Today!

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July 10, 2023

Numbness in Toes: Causes, Prevention, and When to See a Specialist

Not all foot conditions are associated with pain. Sometimes, the concern stems from the opposite - a lackof feeling. Partially losing sensation or experiencing a tingling feeling in your toes is common. What's occurring is numbness in your toes.Numbness in the toes can be caused by various factors, ranging from temporary issues to more serious underlying conditions. Here are some common causes, prevention tips, and guidelines for seeking medical attention.Causes of numbness in toesSeveral foot and toe conditions may cause numbness in your toes. The condition may be acute or chronic, depending on the onset and severity of pain.Peripheral neuropathyDiabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or nerve compressionoften causedamage or dysfunction of the peripheral nerves (nerves outside of the brain). When the peripheral nervous system doesn't work as intended, you can experience numbness in your hands, feet, and toes. The main symptoms include a burning or sharp sensation or a gradual onset of numbness or prickling. You may also experience pain in random non-painful scenarios, like using a blanket, putting on socks, or standing up.Nerve compressionNerve compressions in the foot, like tarsal tunnel syndrome or Morton's neuroma, can cause numbness in the toes.Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tarsal tunnel is compressed. Imagine squeezing a casing of wires: The more pressure against the case, the more stress is put onto the fillings inside. In this case, those would be the nerves, arteries, and tendons inside. Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is caused by posterior tibial nerve compression as it travels through the tarsal tunnel.Meanwhile, Morton's neuroma is a nerve compression that targets the area at the base of the toes. The most common site is at the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. As this nerve is thicker than its surroundings, it's at a greater risk of being blocked, which can cause numbness in the toes. You may feel a numbing sensation or like you have a pebble in your shoe.Poor circulationYou may experience numbness in your toes due to reduced foot blood flow. For instance, peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when blood vessels narrow or are blocked, generally by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.Raynaud'sThose who have Raynaud's may experience numbness in their toes, especially in cold temperatures or times of stress. In Raynaud's disease, blood-supplying arteries narrow, whichreduces blood flow to the area. The most common visible symptom of Raynaud's is your skin turning pale or blueish.FrostbiteFrostbite is an injury caused by freezing the skin and underlying tissues. Your skin becomes cold and red, then numb, followed by hardening and paleness. Depending on the severity, you may experience frostnip (the early onset of frostbite, or superficial) or deep frostbite, which involves more severe stages of nerve damage.Herniated discA herniated disk is a nerve impingement in the lower back. When the nerve is pinched, it can radiate numbness down the leg and into the toes. Disk herniation is often the result of ageing and wear and tear over time.Injury or traumaAcute injuries, like foot or toe injuries, can cause nerve damage and numbness. Acute injuries may include broken bones, sprains, or fractures.Prevention for numbness in toesPreventing numbness in your toes involves a holistic approach to healthy habits, investing in your feet, and practicing good posture. Here's what we recommend for preventing numbness in your toes: Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and managing conditions like diabetes can help prevent peripheral neuropathy and circulation problems. Supportive shoes:Invest in high-quality footwear made for your foot and its use. Wear specific shoes for the activity if you're playing sports, or work shoes, depending on your profession. Shoes should provide adequate arch support, protection, as well as cushioning. Avoid prolonged pressure on your legs and feet: Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for excessive periods, as it can lead to nerve compression and reduced blood flow. Practice good posture: Proper posture and ergonomics can help prevent nerve compression in the lower back. Consider investing in a standing desk or a good chair or revamping your at-home office if you need to improve your posture.When to see a specialist for numbness in toesProactively seeing a doctor when you experience numbness in your toes is recommended. It's challenging to replicate getting a proper diagnosis, determining the cause, and building a treatment plan at home like you would with a doctor or foot specialist.However, notall conditions or pain require seeing a specialist. So, how do you know when to see a doctor or foot specialist? Below are a few scenarios for numbness in the toes in which we recommend booking an appointment: Chronic or persistent numbness: If numbness in the toes persists for an extended period, despite self-care measures, you should seek medical attention. Progressive symptoms: If the numbness worsens over time or spreads to other areas, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional. Pain or difficulty walking: If numbness is accompanied by severe pain or difficulty walking, there may be a more serious underlying condition requiring evaluation by a specialist. Traumatic injury:If numbness follows a foot or toe injury, seeking medical attention to rule out nerve damage or fractures is advisable. Associated symptoms: If numbness is accompanied by symptoms elsewhere or the symptoms begin to differ, for instance, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, or other neurological symptoms, it should be evaluated promptly.If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should first visit your family doctor. Your family doctor can order the testing required to properly diagnose (or rule out) potential causes of your toe numbness.

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December 8, 2022

5 Causes for Numb Feet or Toes

Have you ever felt a prickling, tingling, or pins and needles sensation in your feet? You may be experiencing numbness in your toes. At times, it may even feel like your foot has fallen asleep, which occurs after keeping your foot in the same position for an extended duration.What's happening in your foot and toes when they go numb? The underlying sensation is likely a result ofperipheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a catch-all term for more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy. It refers to damage to the nervous system, which hinders the network of nerves that relays information to your brain.There are various reasons why you experience numbness in your feet or your toes. Possible causes may include poor blood circulation or a byproduct of diabetes. The sensation may be numb; in other cases, you may not feel anything since your feet or toes lack feeling.In this article, we outline five potential causes for why your feet or toes may go numb.Frostbite/FrostnipIt's no secret that Canada experiences cold winters. Low temperatures and high humidity can make keeping your feet warm and dry difficult. That's why frostnip, and its successor, frostbite, are possible during Canada's winter months.There are various degrees ofskin and tissue damage due to cold. They are: Frostnipis a mild cold exposure injury that doesn't cause permanent skin damage. A slight numbing sensation may occur during the frostnip stage and minor (but temporary) nerve damage. Frostnip should subside naturally by escaping the cold and returning to warmer temperatures. Superficial frostbiteis the second stage of cold damage to your toes. Your skin may feel warm, and you likely experience a more intense numbing or tingling sensation. Deep frostbite is the third stage and most severe form of cold damage. You may experience total numbness and loss of sensation in your toes. The toe muscles and joints may no longer work, and you're at risk of permanently damaging the skin and nerves in your toes. Blisters form 24-48 hours after exposure. Afterwards, the area may turn black and harden as the tissue dies.It's critical to recognize signs early. If you're outside for extended periods and feel your feet and toes are cold, it's time to head inside. Once you reach the numbing and tingling sensation, the damage begins to occur and will only worsen if not addressed. With minor forms of frostnip, the feeling will return to your feet and toes with no long-term effects. With frostbite, you risk permanent and irreversible damage.DiabetesDiabetesis a severe condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that can lead to blood flow and nerve issues.3.4 million Canadians, or roughly 8.1% of the population, live with diabetes as of 2017–2018.Regarding the foot, diabetes can complicate the nerves and blood vessels in two ways: Diabetic neuropathy, a common long-term complication of Type-2 diabetes,causes nerve damage, leading to loss of sensation in the legs, feet and toes. A lack or loss of feeling in your feet and toes is dangerous as it can mask injuries, cuts, or other conditions. Inperipheral vascular disease,sugar accumulates in the bloodstream and can cause poor blood circulation. Blood vessels can narrow, block, and spasmdue to PVD.The best action for diabetes is to monitor your symptoms consistently. Further, afoot specialistcan check for adequate circulation, signs of neuropathy, and risk for foot ulcers.Rheumatoid arthritisBothrheumatoid arthritisandrheumatoid vasculitis can cause numbing and tingling in your feet and toes. RA, an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body, can affect the nerves in your feet throughinflammation and swelling.Similarly, rheumatoid vasculitis targets the blood vessels in the feet, inhibiting their ability to transport blood. Reduced circulation can cause your feet and toes to be numb, creating a tingling sensation. Typically, one develops rheumatoid vasculitis after having RA for some time.Tarsal tunnel syndromeTarsal tunnel syndromeis an ankle nerve condition that has downstream effects on the feet and toes. Analogous to carpal tunnel syndrome in our hands, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve becomes compressed—specifically, the posterior tibial nerve inside the ankle.The tarsal tunnel itself is a narrow space next to the ankle bones. It's covered with thick ligaments and contains veins, arteries, tendons, and nerves (including the tibial nerve). When the tunnel becomes compressed, so does everything inside. Compression reduces blood circulation and puts pressure on the nerves that connect your feet and toes with the rest of your body.The exact cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome can be tricky. In many cases, it's a variety of factors, including: Flat feet Bone spurs and cysts in the ankle Varicose veins Inflammation Osteoarthritis Tight shoes Acute ankle injuriesTarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms include sharp, shooting pain, pins and needles, or a burning sensation on the inside of your foot, close to where your foot meets your ankle. The numbness may radiate to the toes as well.Morton's neuromaYou may suffer from Morton's neuroma if you've ever felt a sensation akin to having a pebble stuck in your shoe. This type of neuroma targets the base of thethird and fourth toes. When the muscles and tendons become inflamed, the nerve becomes increasingly compressed, inhibiting its function.You may develop Morton's neuroma with poor biomechanics - namely, overpronation (when your foot rolls too far inwards when walking or running). Biomechanical abnormalities unevenly distribute weight in your feet, adding too much (and too little stress) to certain parts of the foot. Over time, overpronation adds stress to the ball of the foot, causing it to thicken and become inflamed. As such, the foot's nerves can become compressed.High heels (which promote poor biomechanics) are also a common contributing factor to Morton's neuroma.The best course of action to treat Morton's neuroma is for a foot specialist to fit you withproper footwearorcustom foot orthotics. Fixing your footwear and correcting your biomechanics will help distribute weight and stress in your feet more evenly.Other causes of numb feet or toesYou may experience numb feet or toes for reasons other than those outlined above. For instance, your feet may fall asleep when youare asleep, and as a result, your feet may feel numb upon waking up. Being sedentary and keeping your feet and toes in the same position for extended periods may also create a numbing or tingling sensation.Other, more uncommon causes may include: Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseaseis a group of conditions that can cause nerve damage. It's genetic, and the mutations in the genes affect the nerves in your feet and the protective coating of your nerves, which can inhibit signals between your feet and brain. Guillain-Barré syndromeis a rare disorder where your immune system attacks your body's nerves. You may experience weakness, tingling, and numbness when it affects your feet. Vasculitisdescribes inflammation of blood vessels. Most types of vasculitis are rare. Vasculitis can cause a numb sensation in the feet due to a thickening blood vessel wall. As such, the thickening of the vessels can restrict blood flow to the limbs.When in doubt, if you ever feel numb or have a tingling sensation in your feet for abnormal or irregular reasons, contact a professional for a proper diagnosis.

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June 6, 2024

Toenail Thickening: Why it Happens as We Age

Our feet and toes change in various ways as we age. One of these changes is toenail thickening.For some of us, toenail thickening can be more than just a minor inconvenience. It can make it difficult to cut and maintain our toenails, and can even cause pain and discomfort. In this article, we'll explain the causes of thickened toenails, and some possible treatments.WhyDo Toenails Thicken with Age?Nails are made from a protein calledkeratin, which is produced at the nail plate at the base of the nail. Nail growth happens when nail cells multiply within the base of the nail and are pushed forward. However, as we age, the growth rate slows down, so the nail cells just pile up on top of each other, which causes them to get increasingly thicker. Age-related toenail thickening is often a result of several factors:Reduced blood circulationThe most common cause of age-related toenail thickening is decreased blood circulation to our feet, which often occurs as we age. This diminished circulation means fewer nutrients and oxygen reach the toenails, causing them to thicken over time.Natural wear and tearYears of use can damage our toenails. Factors such as ill-fitting shoes, repetitive stress from activities like running or walking, and even minor trauma can contribute to thickening. Essentially, when our toenails experience trauma, they thicken to protect themselves.Fungal infectionsOlder individuals are more prone to fungal infections of the toenails, which can cause thickening, discoloration, and brittleness. These infections often thrive in warm, moist environments like sweaty shoes or communal areas.Underlying health conditionsMedical conditions like psoriasis, diabetes, and peripheral arterial disease can also influence toenail health. These conditions affect circulation, which in turn slows toenail growth and causes toenails to thicken. Tips for toenail care as you ageAs you age, proactive steps can be taken to maintain healthy toenails and minimize thickening. By following these tips, you can feel more in control of your foot health and well-being.Regular trimmingToenail thickening can make trimming and maintaining your toenails extremely difficult. Fortunately, a licensed chiropodist is trained to specifically deal with this. A licensed chiropodist can ensure your toenails are trimmed properly to prevent ingrown toenails, promote healthy toenail growth and reduce thickening. A licensed chiropodist can also use special tools over the toenail to thin it out, which will make the toenail easier to cut and maintain. Best of all, this is all done in a sterilized environment, so you don't need to worry about fungal infections (did you know 52% of people get fungal infections after visiting nail salons?) If you decide to trim your toenails at home, make sure you invest in quality toenail clippers and avoid cutting them too short.Proper foot hygieneWash your feet daily with soap and water, ensuring they dry thoroughly, especially between the toes. Also, wear flip flops in public spaces to avoid contracting fungal infections.Comfortable footwearChoose shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. Avoid narrow or tight shoes that can put pressure the toenails and contribute to thickening.Moisturize regularlyApply moisturizer to your feet to keep the skin and nails hydrated. This can prevent cracking and thickening of the toenails, especially in dry climates.Foot protectionWear protective footwear in risky environments like communal areas or outdoors. This can help prevent injury and reduce the risk of fungal infections.Manage underlying conditionsIf you have underlying health issues like diabetes, it's important to remember that they can be effectively managed. By working closely with your healthcare provider, you can improve foot circulation and reduce the risk of complications like toenail thickening.

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June 3, 2024

Fashion Meets Function: Trendy Orthopedic Shoes for 2024

Do orthopedic shoes have their place in fashion? The answer is yes! While there is no doubt orthopedic shoes are designed to treat foot conditions, it doesn’t exclude them from contemporary 2024 shoe trends. Let’s review the top choices for stylish orthopedic shoes this year!Stylish Orthopedic Footwear 2024Orthopedic shoes usually have specific features, such as:Built-in arch support for plantar fasciitis, etc.Extra cushioning / shock absorption (protects your joints from the impact of the ground!)A wide toe box for foot deformities like bunions, hammertoes, etc.Removable insoles to give you the option of using orthotics.A firm heel counter for proper stability or motion control.Adjustable straps to accommodate edema (swelling) and for a snug, breathable fit.That’s a lot to look for! And it’s a common misconception that these features look unappealing. The truth is, you can't often see these features at first glance; orthopedic shoes do not have to look clunky.If you’re not sure where to look for comfortable and fashionable shoes, keep reading for some examples that offer the best of both worlds. The cherry on top? All of them are available at Feet First Clinic!Anodyne No. 27 Anodyne No. 27Anodyne shoes are designed to help treat diabetes-related foot problems and other musculoskeletal issues and deformities. The No. 27 is a simplistic white walking shoe that pairs perfectly with casual attire. Features include a rigid heel counter to help with instability, a protective toe box, a supportive sole, and more. It's a comforting staple that keeps modern fashion trends in mind!APEX Logan Chelsea BootThe Logan Chelsea Boot from APEX offers a good amount of depth, and a removable EVA insole to boot (no pun intended!). The side zipper and lack of laces makes it easier for people with mobility challenges to get their feet in and out. This boot is also perfect for every season, from spring all the way to winter!APEX LOGAN CHELSEA BOOTAetrex Men's Milos And Women's JessAetrex is a cutting edge company offering trendy orthopedic shoes. The men's Milos are an orthopaedic slide sandal that combines the comforting and supportive features you would typically find with a custom orthotic, with the breathability and stylish flair of a summer sandal. They're super durable and have great arch support and cushioning thanks to UltraSky™ EVAtechnology.Like the Milos, the Jess from Aetrex is another sandal offering the same top-of-the-line arch support and cushioning. The microfibre top cover adds a layer of softness and fights against cuts, scrapes and blisters. One minor difference is the easily adjustable ankle strap for extra ankle support.NAOT AmadoraLooking for a fashion-forward sandal with a slight platform and fun design? The NAOT Amadora is a great finishing touch for your everyday summer dresses, skirts, and more! The hook and loop strap with full upper coverage is great for those who prefer a more secure feel to their sandals. The removable, anatomic cork and latex footbed conforms to the natural shape of your foot as it moves, offering maximum comfort! The best part: the footbed is removeable so you can wear them with your custom orthotics!Naot Amadora

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May 20, 2024

Summer Sandal Guide: Choosing the Best for Your Feet

As the temperatures rise and the sun shinesbrighter, it's time to ditch the closed-toe shoes and slide into something more comfortable and breathable. Yes, it's sandal season! But with so many options available, how do you choose the best sandals for your summer adventures? We've got you covered.In this guide, we'll explore the essential features to look for in summer sandals and introduce you to some top picks that seamlessly blend style with comfort.Cork footbedOne key feature to consider when selecting summer sandals is the footbed material. Cork footbeds are famous for their ability to mould to theshape of your foot over time, providing personalized support and cushioning.Additionally, cork is lightweight and absorbs shock, making it an excellent option for all-day wear. Whether strolling along the boardwalk or exploring a new city, sandals with cork footbeds ensure your feet stay comfortable and supported.Arch supportArch support is essential, especially if you plan on wearing your sandals for extended periods. It distributes weight across your feet, reducing strain and preventing discomfort. A lack of arch and forefoot support can lead to foot problems like plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia.Look for sandals witharch support or removable insoles. You can customize the level of supportto your liking. Your feet will thank you after a long day of sightseeing or outdoor activities.Backstraps for supportWhile slip-on sandals are convenient, they may provide a different level of support and stability than those with backstraps.Backstraps help secure the sandals to your feet, preventing them from slipping and sliding with each step. Added stability is particularly beneficial if you plan to engage in more active pursuits or tend to pronate or supinate. Backstraps come in various styles, from adjustable buckles to elasticized bands, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your feet.Our top picksNow that we've covered the essential features to look for in summer sandals let's introduce you to some top picks that effortlessly combine style with comfort.NAOT CornetandNAOT CasteloBest for cork footbedsWith their contoured cork footbeds and adjustable backstraps, NAOT sandals offer exceptional comfort and support. The NAOT Cornet and NAOT Castelo styles feature chic designs that transition seamlessly from day to night.Mephisto HesterandMephisto HettyBest for cork footbedsMephisto sandals are renowned for their superior craftsmanship and comfort technology. The Mephisto Hester and Mephisto Hetty models boast cushioned footbeds with arch support and durable backstraps for added stability.Aetrex JessBest for arch supportThe Aetrex Jess sandals feature a built-in Lynco orthotic footbed for maximum support and alignment. The adjustable backstrap ensures a secure fit, making them ideal for all-day wear.NAOT Enid andNAOT AmadoraBest for backstrap supportNAOT offers a range of stylish sandals with cork footbeds and backstrap designs. The NAOT Enid and NAOT Amadora are built with quality and comfort in mind. The three variations three are perfect for summer adventures.Mephisto NorineBest for backstrap supportThe Mephisto Norrine sandals combine elegance with functionality. Featuring Soft-Air technology and adjustable straps, they provide unparalleled comfort and support for any occasion.

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May 16, 2024

Summer Sports 2024: Foot Care for Athletes

Top-notch athletic foot health is key, especially when summer rolls around. Your activity level changes in the summer when you start spending more time outdoors pounding the pavement in the sun. To make sure your feet don't hold you back from your summer plans, here are our top summer sports foot care tips for healthy feet. Preventing Summer Sports Injuries in AthletesWhen it comes to foot care and sports, the right footwear and healthy exercises/stretches are always a winning combo. Below you’ll find the most common strain-related summer sports injuries and what you can do to stay on your feet!Achilles TendonitisAvoid straining the Achilles tendon by gradually increasing activity intensity. For example, run shorter distances while working your way up to longer journeys.Stretch the calf muscles / Achilles tendon every day. Try the calf exercises in this article.Also make sure you stretch your soleus muscle too!Wear runners with an elevated heel, turned-up toe and rocker soles. (Learn more about rocker soles here.)Ankle SprainsWear athletic shoes with stong ankle support while playing sports like basketball and volleyball. Shoes with wider soles can help too.If you’re prone to sprains or tend to overpronate when you walk, try stability shoes.Strengthen your ankles with these exercises.Stress FracturesStability and motion control shoes with a more rigid design and thick soles are good for runners who may be prone to stress fractures.Gradually increase activity intensity to avoid hurting yourself, especially if you have been on hiatus!To avoid stress fractures while strength training or weight lifting, wear a shoe with a wider toe box, a hard/thick sole and a minimum level of cushioning.Plantar FasciitisWear the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. These tend to be stability shoes, but neutral can also work. The key thing is to look for shoes with sufficient arch support.Perform strengthening and preventative stretches that target the plantar fascia. These include calf stretches, towel stretches, and more that you can find here.Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)Prevent knee pain by strength training, paying close attention to the quadriceps and hip muscles.Avoid shoes with a raised heel, as they can place too much pressure on the knee joint.There should be a medium amount of cushioning in shoes; too much can cause knee instability.Foot Care Tips for Preventing All InjuriesFootwear should always be well-fitted and supportive, regardless of what injury you're trying to prevent.Certain features can help defend against specific injuries, but shoes must always fit properly, leaving enough room for the foot to position itself and for the toes to spread. Shoes must also always have some level cushioning and support. Lightweight shoes tend to be beneficial for athletes when competing so they can propel forward more effortlessly. Additionally, athletes should always wear running shoes with good shock absorption; it acts as a barrier between your joints and the impact from the ground.You can also boost your protection with custom orthotics or Superfeet insoles. These offer extra support for your feet and joints. Preventing Skin Conditions in AthletesOne of the most infamous skin issues athletes face in the summertime are blisters. Running outside in the hot sun can cause increased friction and moisture buildup in your shoe environment. Even though most blisters go away on their own, competitive runners and racers can sometimes face serious blister complications like intense pain, sepsis, and cellulitis.Ensure your footwear fits well so your skin isn’t rubbing harshly against your shoes. To tackle the moisture problem, try sweat-wicking socks and foot deodorants, which come as sprays, powders and creams (these can also help with foot odour and athlete's foot prevention). Medical devices like custom orthotics, insoles and blister pads can also help place feet in the best position for preventing blisters.

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May 6, 2024

Summer Foot Care: Keeping Your Feet Happy in Hot Weather

Summertime means storing those winter boots and slipping into your favourite warm-weather footwear. But before you hit the beach or embark on a summer hike, remember that giving your feet the care they deserve is not just essential; it's the key to thoroughly enjoying all your summer adventures — whether at the beach, pool or outside exercising! Your feet are your foundation for summer fun, so let's ensure they're in top shape with proper summer foot care.Here are some simple yet effective tips to keep your feet happy and healthy during the hot months ahead. These easy-to-follow tips can significantly impact your foot health,giving you the confidence to easily step into summer.1. Keep your feet and yourself hydratedLike the rest of your body, your feet need hydration.Ensure you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration,reducing the risk of dry,cracked skin on your feet. Additionally, apply a hydrating lotion or cream to your feet every day to keep them soft and supple.2. Choose breathable footwearSandals or breathable shoesencourage air circulation and preventfeet from overheating. Avoid plastic or synthetic materials that trap moisture and produce sweaty, smelly feet.3. Protect your feet from the sunApply sunscreen to your feet, particularly when exposed to the sun for extended periods. Like the rest of your body, your feet's skin is susceptible to sunburn.Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with anSPF of 30 or higherbefore heading outdoors. Consider re-applying every two hours and more regularly if swimming or sweating. See the Canadian Dermatology Association's list of products that adhere to their standards.4. Keep your feet clean and drySummer heat can increase the risk of fungal infections likeathlete's foot. To prevent this, wash your feet daily with soap and water. Then, dry thoroughly, especially between the toes. Use a foot powder to absorb moisture, reducing the risk of fungal growth.5. Trim your toenails (properly)Untrimmed toenails can lead to discomfort and increase the risk of ingrown toenails, especially during summer activities.Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting them too short, and file any rough edges to keep them smooth. Doing so can help preventingrown toenails.6. Give your feet a breakSummer is the perfect time to kick off your shoes and let your feet breathe. Take a moment to walk barefoot on the soft grass or sand to strengthen your foot muscles improve circulation and reconnect with nature. Just be mindful of your surroundings to avoid any injuries or stepping on sharp objects.7. Stay active this summer with the proper footwearWhether going for a hike or a run, wearing the right shoes for the activity is important. Proper footwear provides support and cushioning to reduce the risk of foot pain or injury, so invest in a good pair of athletic shoes that fit well andsuit your chosen activity.8. Treat your feet to a relaxing soakAfter a long summer of fun, treat your feet to a soothing foot soak to relax tired muscles and rejuvenate your skin.Fill a bath or basin with warm water.Then, add Epsom salt ora few drops of essential oils (like lavender or peppermint) foran extra touch of luxury.9. Pay attention to warning signsIf you experience persistent foot pain, swelling, or anyworrisome symptoms, don't ignore them. These could be signs of a foot condition or injury requiring medical attention. Consult a chiropodist or healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.10. Practice good foot care year-roundFinally, remember that foot care is not just for summer. Make it a habit to take care of your feet year-round by wearing comfortable, supportive shoes, maintaininggood foot hygiene, and promptly addressing foot issues.By following these tried-and-tested tips for summer foot care, you can keep your feet happy, healthy, and ready for all the season's adventures. These tips have been proven to work, so you can trust that your feet are in good hands. So go ahead, put your best foot forward, and confidently enjoy everything summer has in store!

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April 29, 2024

Preventing Heel Pain: Tips and Exercises

Heel pain is a common complaint affecting individuals of all ages and lifestyles, from athletes to office workers. It can be frustrating and debilitating, whether it's caused by plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or Achilles tendonitis. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent heel pain and keep your feet happy and healthy.This blog post explores practical tips and exercises for preventing heel pain and maintaining optimal foot health.Causes of heel painBefore diving into prevention strategies, it's essential to understand the common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, is one of the leading causes of heel pain. Other culprits include:Heel spursBony growths on the heel boneAchilles tendonitisInflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the heelFactors such as improper footwear, overuse, obesity, and poor foot mechanics can contribute to the development of heel pain.Heel pain prevention tipsChoose supportive footwear. Invest in shoes that provide adequate arch support, cushioning, and stability. Look for options with a slightly elevated heel to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put added pressure on the feet and exacerbate heel pain. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to reduce the risk of developing heel pain.Gradually increase activity. Avoid sudden increases in physical activity, such as jumping into a rigorous exercise routine or increasing mileage too quickly. Gradually increase activity levels to allow your feet time to adapt and prevent overuse injuries.Stretch regularly. Incorporate stretching exercises into your daily routine to improve flexibility and prevent tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Focus on stretching the calves, hamstrings, and plantar fascia to alleviate tension and reduce heel strain.Practice good foot mechanics. Pay attention to your foot mechanics when walking, running, or participating in sports. Avoid overpronation or excessive rolling inward of the feet, as this can strain the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.Heel pain exercisesCalf stretch. Stand facing a wall with one foot in front of the other, keeping the back leg straight and the heel on the ground. Lean forward, bending the front knee until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.Plantar fascia stretch.Sit on the floor with one leg extended before you. Loop a towel around the foot and gently pull the toes towards you until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.Achilles tendon stretch.Stand facing a wall with one foot in front of the other. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height and lean forward, bending the front knee until you feel a stretch in the back of the lower leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.Heel pain can be debilitating and impact daily activities and quality of life. Incorporating these prevention tips and exercises into your routine can reduce the risk of developing heel pain and keep your feet healthy and pain-free. Remember to listen to your body and seek professional medical attention if you experience persistent or severe heel pain.

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Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic (2024)


Numb Toes: Common Causes and When to Seek Help - Feet First Clinic? ›

Numbness in your toes can be caused by issues with the nervous system or circulation and may stem from various factors such as tight shoes, exposure to cold, or underlying health conditions like multiple sclerosis. It's important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When should I go to the doctor for numbness in my toes? ›

A common cause for numb or tingly toes is a medical condition called peripheral neuropathy. You should get emergency medical care right away if you have other symptoms along with toe numbness, such as facial droop, severe headache, weakness, or widespread numbness.

Should I go to the hospital if my toe is numb? ›

It could be something serious -- a byproduct of diabetes, for example -- or it might just be that you're wearing the wrong shoes. Most numbness in your toes is harmless. But seek emergency help if: You've had a recent head injury that is followed by numb toes.

What is the most common cause of toe numbness? ›

Nerve compression or damage is one of the most common causes of toe numbness, and oftentimes symptoms are most noticeable right after athletic activity or after being on your feet for an extended period.

When should I be worried about foot numbness? ›

Make an appointment to see your doctor if the numbness in your foot is causing you to trip or fall frequently. You should also see your doctor if the numbness in your foot is getting worse. If you have diabetes, make an appointment to see your doctor or podiatrist for foot numbness.

When should you go to the ER for foot numbness? ›

If pain, weakness or numbness extends into the foot so that you are unable to lift your toe as you walk, that is called Foot Drop, which is an emergency disc-related symptom. You need a spine specialist within 48 hours. If not treated promptly, it could lead to permanent weakness in the foot.

How long is too long for foot numbness? ›

If you notice the sensation in your feet for a week or more, it's best to seek out help from a healthcare provider to determine what the cause is. Try to log how often, when, and where you notice tingling in your feet, said Lobkova. That record can help a podiatrist make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How do I get rid of numbness in my toes? ›

Increasing your physical activity and paying careful attention to your diet can also help. If the numbness is due to compression of the nerve in the foot, changing the type of shoes you wear might help. If the numbness is related to alcohol, you should stop drinking and begin taking a multivitamin.

What are the first signs of neuropathy in your feet? ›

The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:
  • numbness and tingling in the feet or hands.
  • burning, stabbing or shooting pain in affected areas.
  • loss of balance and co-ordination.
  • muscle weakness, especially in the feet.

Is toe numbness reversible? ›

There are many different ways that peripheral neuropathy can happen, so this condition is common. For some people, peripheral neuropathy is temporary, treatable or both. For others, it's permanent and incurable.

When should you seek medical attention for numbness? ›

Go to a hospital or call 911 or the local emergency number if: You have weakness or are unable to move, along with numbness or tingling.

What is the best home remedy for numbness in feet? ›

Home remedies
  • Rest. If injury has caused numbness or pain, staying off your feet can help your body heal without causing further damage.
  • Ice. For some conditions, like tarsal tunnel syndrome or injuries, icing the affected area can reduce both numbness and pain. ...
  • Heat. ...
  • Bracing. ...
  • Inspection. ...
  • Massage. ...
  • Foot baths.
Dec 2, 2021

What is the best medicine for numbness in the feet? ›

Medicines such as gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin, Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica), developed to treat epilepsy, often improve nerve pain. Side effects can include drowsiness and dizziness. Topical treatments. Lidocaine cream that is available without a prescription can be applied to the skin.

How do you know if numbness is serious? ›

See your doctor if your limb is numb for a long time which is not caused by your posture, especially if you have any other symptoms such as: muscle spasms. a rash. your leg numbness is worse when you walk.

How to get rid of numbness in toes? ›

Increasing your physical activity and paying careful attention to your diet can also help. If the numbness is due to compression of the nerve in the foot, changing the type of shoes you wear might help. If the numbness is related to alcohol, you should stop drinking and begin taking a multivitamin.

Will toe neuropathy go away? ›

Whether or not neuropathy can be reversed depends on the cause of the nerve damage. In some cases, the pain may go away entirely. In others, nerve damage may be permanent. For example, when neuropathy is caused by an infection, symptoms might go away completely when the infection is treated.

Should I go to urgent care for numbness? ›

Call 911 or seek emergency help if your numbness:

Begins suddenly. Follows a recent head injury. Involves an entire arm or leg.

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