Numbness in your toes and feet can be an unsettling sensation, quite different from the pain we're more accustomed to dealing with. This lack of feeling can cause concern, especially since it's less understood and often leaves you wondering about the root cause. In this blog, we'll explore the reasons behind toe numbness, how it's evaluated, and the role osteopaths play in diagnosing and treating this mysterious condition. By understanding what triggers such symptoms, you can take the first steps towards regaining comfort and normal sensation in your feet.

Q) My toes are numb?

A) Any numbness in the body can be rather scary because it is not a usual occurrence for us. We generally understand pain a lot better because we have experienced that in our past but something as unusual as numbness, can often be very disconcerting.

Q) Where is this Numbness Coming From?

A) When osteopaths see people for numbness, we carry out a very detailed neurological examination of not just the toes/feet but also the entire leg and we examine the back (lumbar spine) too. This is because there are a number of different areas/conditions that could be causing the numbness so we must ascertain where the problem is coming from before we are able to treat. One of the most common causes is a protruding disc in the low back (used to be referred to as a ‘slipped disc’) which is pressing on the nerves around the spine.  These nerves exit the spine and go down the leg controlling our muscles but also supplying sensation to the skin of the legs/feet.  This is why a problem with a disc in the lumbar spine can cause numbness as far down as the big toe!  Other causes such as nerve entrapments in the pelvis, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies will also be screened for and if needed, a referral will be supplied for you to take to your GP for further relevant testing.

During your osteopathic appointment, all testing and the subsequent results that we find will be explained in full to you and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.  We value this patient/practitioner time as we feel that it offers the reassurance that people with neurological signs and symptoms often need.

Q) Can You Treat My Numb Toes?

A) If the numbness is being caused by a musculoskeletal problem, we will discuss the relevant treatment plan with you and use a variety of different techniques to help resolve this issue for you. Advice on stretches and exercises will also be given and we will also discuss any aspects of your lifestyle which may need adapting if we feel it could be contributing to the problem, for example, working/driving positions, etc.

Numb toes don't just signal a local issue; they can be an indicator of broader health problems ranging from lumbar spine issues to systemic conditions like diabetes. By thoroughly assessing the problem through detailed neurological examinations, osteopaths can pinpoint the specific causes of your discomfort. Our commitment extends beyond diagnosis—we provide comprehensive treatment plans tailored to your needs, along with valuable advice on lifestyle adjustments that may aid your recovery. Understanding and addressing the underlying causes of numbness is key to restoring your foot health and overall well-being.