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The state of your toes can teach you all sorts of things about the rest of your body. Pain or discomfort in your toes can be indications of problems elsewhere. Many of these will be minor issues that are easy to resolve. However, some conditions can be more serious, so it’s always wise to listen to your feet.

Common Symptoms

These will vary from person to person, but toe discomfort often involves a burning, tingling sensation. Alternatively, there may be no feeling or very little feeling at all. Numbness or lack of sensitivity to heat or cold are all indications that something is amiss.

These symptoms aren’t necessarily cause for alarm and may resolve themselves quite quickly without any treatment at all. However, if they persist, it’s wise to talk to your podiatrist. They may point to other conditions. 

Temporary Nerve Issues

Toe numbness can be due to something simple like temporary nerve compression. Tight, badly fitting shoes can be to blame here, or an excessive amount of exercise (running or walking), which puts extra pressure on your toes and feet. Checking your footwear with your podiatrist and amending your exercise routine may be enough to sort things out.

Bunions can have the same effect. These bony lumps occur at the base of the big toe and will push it out of shape over time. Shoes become too tight as a result and the pressure compresses the nerves. Fortunately, bunions are something that a podiatrist can help with.

Nerve Damage

Nerve issues can relate to something more serious. A number of conditions can cause nerve damage, which will also manifest in coldness or tingling. These are all things that need the help of an experienced podiatrist.

Diabetes Issues

Diabetes sufferers often have high blood sugar levels. This causes nerve damage, which results in tingling and numbness in the feet and toes. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is a must for diabetics (and all of us), and your podiatrist can advise you accordingly.

Poor Circulation

Conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and peripheral artery disease (PAD) cause the arteries to narrow and this restricts blood flow. PAD can also be the result of high blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Restricted blood flow prevents sufficient oxygen and essential nutrients from reaching the nerves, and this is what causes the damage.

Multiple Sclerosis

Tingling and numbness are common symptoms of MS. This can occur in any part of the body, not just the toes or feet. This chronic condition affects the central nervous system (brain and spine) and disrupts the signals to the nerves of the body.

Vitamin Deficiency

We all need a balanced diet to remain healthy. In particular, healthy nerves need plenty of vitamin B12 and E, whilst your blood needs enough calcium. If your diet is low in these vitamins over a period of time, nerve damage is a possible result.

Review Your Diet

A change in diet will go a long way to helping in many situations. Plenty of vegetables, some fruit, lean proteins, pulses, grains and healthy fats will make a great difference here.

Of course, several of these are chronic issues and you should also be under the care of your doctor or relevant consultant.  

A Podiatrist Can Help

Don’t wait for little niggles to become a problem. The friendly team at our London clinics are here to help with all conditions relating to the lower extremities.

For minor discomfort, specific issues or just a bit of maintenance, contact Feet By Pody today.