Ask the Doc - Michael Nirenberg, DPM - 1st and 2nd toes on my right foot are often numb

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by BFwillie_g, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. BFwillie_g

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    May 17, 2010
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    Michael Nirenberg, DPM
    1st and 2nd toes on my right foot are often numb

    Hi there,

    I'm wondering if anyone else gets this problem. The 1st and 2nd toes on my right foot are often numb, like they've been given novacaine, after a longer run. I can work it out somewhat with heavy massage and stretching, but it doesn't go completely away for a few hours. I would say the problem is generated in the ball of my foot and extends out to those two toes, but that's a little conjectural on my part. Also, temperature seems to play a role, the cooler it is, the worse the numbness. And warming the area seems to bring the feeling back.

    Oh, last thing, mobility is also affected; I can't curl my toes all the way inward.

    Doesn't seem to matter if I'm BF or in my Huaraches.

    Got me kind of concerned. Ideas?


    Hi Willie --

    I would be happy to give you my ideas on what is going on: I have seen this with people who walk and run, whether barefoot or shod. In your case it seems particularly aggravated by barefoot running, however, it occurs in shod runners. Generally, numbness is a nerve issue. There is a nerve on the top of your foot that goes to those two toes and this nerve may be irritated or "pinched" on the top of your foot, or more likely, you are starting to get a partial tarsal tunnel syndrome. TTS is where the nerve at the inside of the foot becomes entrapped under a ligament just before it branches into three nerves: one that goes toward the area that you describe, one toward the heel and one toward the outside of the foot and those toes. You may have pure TTS but more likely, partial with entrapment of the plantar nerve going to those toes (the medial plantar nerve branch off the posterior tibial nerve). The lack of bending may be because the nerve is pinched or entrapped and not adequately supplying the muscles in that area that are responsible for bending the toe. You need to see a podiatrist who can examine your foot and can check these nerves for you. I hope this helps.

    Michael Nirenberg, DPM

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