I'm going to talk now about what causes numb big toes and what you can do about it. So,
when we talk about numb big toes we have a lot of patients that come in complaining of
numbness along on this side of their toes sometimes tingling and sometimes pain. There's
a very specific reason why this occurs and usually very easy to treat, and by the way
this is the same thing that causes calluses on the side of the toe.
If you're looking on normal human step, most of us are going to hit on the outside of our
heel. When you're roll in and where you go forward and the big toe joint is going to
bend. From the side it's going to look like this so that's a normal step.
Some people when they walk their foot rolls in this way too much and so as it rolls in
the ground presses up under the big toe joint here. Now when they try and walk forward that
toe joint doesn't bend and you can try that on yourself. Just take your shoe off, sit
down, have somebody push up under this area here and try and bend the big toe it won't
So, if you can't bend this big toe you're body still has to find some way to move forward
and the way it does it is instead of bending that toe fully you end up...let me show you
with this foot. Instead of bending forward like that, you end up rolling right off the
side of the toe. What that does is it pinches the skin here, can cause what are called pinch
calluses and in addition it can compress the nerves that run right underneath this area
and that's actually what causes that numbness.
So, when we try and treat this problem, our goal is to go back and get this toe to work
through a full range of motion when you walk forward. If we can do that we can almost always
can get rid of those symptoms. The most effective way to do that is use shoes that are stable
enough to stop your heel from rolling in. You can go to our website and get our shoe
list to find those shoes.
And the second is to put some sort of orthotic inside your shoe that encourages this bone
to go down so that when you walk forward you have full range of motion in that joint. Now,
the best orthotics that do that are custom orthotics that conform extremely tight to
the arch of the foot.
Those can be full size orthotics like this or women's small dress orthotics like this
that fit in dress shoes, flats and heels but that really needs to grab that arch very,
very tight when the foot is in that position. That works the best. In addition, there are
some over the counter devices you can use, they don't work quite as well but here's a
good over the counter orthotic and see, the arch isn't quite as high. So, the foot is
still going to flatten a little bit and not jamming that joint but it's still better than
your shoe alone. Again, on our website, if you go to the website and do a search for
numb toes or big toe numbness, you'll find some suggestion on some over the counter devices
and some more information on the custom orthotics that can help this problem.
This is an easy problem to treat, don't live with it. Again, it's caused by jamming on
that big toe joint and you can always treat it with the right device inside your shoe.