Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The nervous system is in charge of the nerves that provide sensations to the entire body, feet and even the big toe. The circulatory system also provides sensation and oxygen supply to the foot. Numbness in big toe is the condition that usually occurs when there are abnormalities in the circulatory system or peripheral nervous system. It is important to know about the causes of numbness in big toe and its treatment options. Although there are many factors and causes of numbness in big toe, the most common cause is direct compression of the nerves of the foot or circulatory issues in the foot.

Causes of Numbness in Big Toe

Causes of Numbness in Big Toe

There are many factors that are taken into consideration to find the exact cause of numbness in toes. The duration of the tingling sensation and numbness and history of any type of toe injury needs to be checked to find the root causes of numbness in big toe.

Some of the factors and causes of numbness in big toe include:

  • Restricted Circulation of Blood – In most of the cases, the flow of blood to the feet gets restricted. Sitting or standing in awkward position, keeping the feet in wrong direction etc. can restrict the blood flow and is one of the causes of numbness in big toe. Although it subsides on its own, but if it persists, the condition needs to be elevated.
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Vitamin B12 takes care of smooth functioning of the nervous system. One of the main causes of numbness in big toe can be a deficiency of vitamin B12, which can also lead to a tingling sensation.
  • Cervical Spondylosis – The cartilages and bones of your backbone and neck usually get worsen due to aging and this can cause back pain, spasms and stiffness. Sometimes, the nerves can also get compressed and can cause numbness in big toe.
  • Shoes – A bad pair of shoes can be responsible for causing numbness in toes. Bad pair of shoes can put unnecessary pressure on the toe and this can cause numbness and pain. Wearing shoes with tight laces can also obstruct the flow of blood to toes and can be one of the causes of numbness in big toe.
  • Compression of the Nerve – Numbness in the toes can be the positive indicator of compressed nerves. There are many reasons due to which the nerve can be compressed in the extremities. Ill-fitting shoes can hurt the toe for extended hours and injury of toe can be the common reason for compression of nerve and cause numbness.
  • Gout – In many cases gout is overlooked, but it can be the primary cause of numbness in big toe. When the level of uric acid increases in body, then it can cause gout, where the crystals also settle in the small joints and can be one of the causes of numbness in toes.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Diabetics, alcoholics or those who smoke are likely to develop such condition. This is the condition that affects the small and large blood vessels and as a result it leads to damage to the nerve. Due to this condition the person can experience numbness in big toe and extremities.
  • Diabetes – Diabetes patients often complain about numbness in their toes. It is important to take the condition seriously and get effective treatment for it to reduce the numbness and prevent complications.
  • Inflamed Bone – If the bone underside your big toe is inflamed, which often occurs in arthritis, it can cause numbness in big toe.
  • Bunions – Bunion is basically the bump that occurs at the base of the big toe. These bumps cause extreme pain in toe and sometime it can lead to numbness in the big toe.
  • Raynaud's Disease – This is a medical condition that hampers the supply of blood to toes and fingers. The symptoms of this condition include pain, tingling sensation and numbness in big toe. It is usually triggered by stress and cold weather conditions.

Treatment for Numbness in Big Toe

The best treatment options for numbness in big toe depends on the underlying causes. Seeking timely medical opinion and following medical advice is essential.

Some of the treatment options include:

  • If bunion is the underlying cause of numbness, the doctors will recommend wearing square-shaped shoes and socks that don't have seam as it can alleviate the numbness and tingling in big toe. Corrective surgery is a treatment option for numbness in big toe only when the condition worsens.
  • If diabetes is the underlying cause of numbness, medicines that control your blood sugar level is the most relevant treatment option for numbness in big toe.
  • People are often advised to increase the consumption of foods rich in vitamin B12 and wear comfortable footwear all day long. You are also required to sit in correct posture while working and take breaks in between and walk for a minute to improve the circulation of blood. As a part of treatment options for numbness in big toe, these lifestyle modifications can help to a great extent.
  • For instant relief from numbness in big toe, you can prepare mixture of warm water and camphor and soak your toes into the water for instant relief. This is a great home treatment option for numbness of big toe and will also help to relieve pain. You can also use cold packs to enhance the circulation of blood and alleviate the pain and numbness.
  • If the numbness persists for long, it is necessary to seek medical opinion to make proper diagnosis and get the right treatment options for numbness in big toe.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 12, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest