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Why Do My Toes Go Numb When Working Out?

Toe numbness is quite a common phenomenon for athletes who do heavy workouts to keep themselves fit for competitive sporting events. There can be numerous reasons for the toes to go numb when working out which may range from poor footwear, the exercise the individual is doing, or due to an underlying medical condition.

In case if the foot numbness becomes more of an issue then it is recommended to consult with a physician as it may be a referred numbness from the back or it may be a sign of a nerve problem in the foot.

Why Do My Toes Go Numb When Working Out?

Why Do My Toes Go Numb When Working Out?

Diabetes: When talking of underlying medical conditions causing numbness in the toes, diabetes is a condition which comes first in the list. Diabetes is a condition which not only affects various vital organs of the body but also adversely affects the functioning of the nerves. This condition is termed as diabetic neuropathy.

Toes going numb is one of the symptoms of a diabetic neuropathy. These symptoms may be controlled by abstaining from nicotine use, controlling the amount of sugar intake, and undergo serial close monitoring of the feet by the physician to identify any problems with the nerves causing numbness in the toes.

Fluid Accumulation: Fluid accumulation in the foot causes a condition called compartment syndrome. While compartment syndrome is not that frequent in the toes or the foot but still there have been cases where individuals have had compartment syndrome in the toe which causes the toes to go numb while exercising.

An individual can have compartment syndrome as a result of a direct blow or trauma to the toe area or as a result of repetitive stress injury to the toe due to constant working out or running resulting in the toes getting numb after working out.

Morton’s Neuroma: This is a condition characterized by thickening of the tissues around the nerves going to the toes. This results in toes going numb especially after any activity like working out. In addition to the numbness, the individual will also experience a stinging and a burning sensation in the toes. The most preferred way of treating a Morton’s Neuroma is by steroids or surgery.

Shoes: The choice of shoes is perhaps the most common cause of an individual having numbness in the toes when working out. The shoes that the individual may be wearing may have a narrow toe box which may compress the nerves while working out causing numbness.

Thus it is highly recommended to choose a training shoe with a wider toe box so as not to put pressure on the nerves while working out and prevent any numbness in the toes when working out.


  1. American Diabetes Association. (2021). Diabetic Neuropathy https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/neuropathy
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/neuropathy

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2023

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