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Tingling Toes

Nutritional deficiencies and diabetes are the most common causes of frequent tingling in feet and toes. Here is detailed information on the causes and remedies for the same.
Madhura Pandit Mar 12, 2019
Tingling is the feeling of 'falling asleep' or 'pins and needles' in any part of the body. Usually, it is not serious and is accompanied by numbness or loss of sensation in specific part of the leg. But, in serious cases, it occurs due to damage or injury to nerves.


In minor cases, tingling sensation in toes is caused due to sitting cross-legged or with the foot under the body for a long time. Sometimes, alcoholism, wearing tight footwear, or sitting on a chair with your legs hanging in the air for long time also result in tingling in the toes.


Any kind of injury to the foot or toe, stubbed or broken toes are common causes of tingling sensation in feet and toes. Sometimes, people having flat feet may also experience these symptoms at night. On the other hand, a person may experience numbness on undergoing a surgery to the vertebrae.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tarsal nerve is inflamed due to compression in the tarsal tunnel. Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, improper sports activities or exercise, etc., are the causes of this syndrome. Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include pain and burning sensation in the leg or toes, tingling in ankles, swelling in feet, etc.


Sciatica is one of the most painful condition that arises when the sciatic nerve gets impinged or compressed. As the sciatic nerve runs from the back, down to the leg; one experiences pain that starts from lower back and runs through the thighs to the foot. Tingling sensation and numbness in toes of one foot is also a symptom of sciatica.


Pregnant women often experience numbness and tingling in legs, fingers and toes.
This occurs due to sciatica or compression of the sciatic nerve due to excess weight. The excess weight in pregnancy may also lead to herniated disc which also causes numbness in the feet, toes, and back pain.


Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes numbness and tingling in hands and feet. Apart from injury, diabetes is one of the most common causes for this condition. Diabetic neuropathy, i.e., nerve damage caused due to diabetes leads to tingling in toes. In fact, this is one of the classic and first symptoms of diabetes.

Nutritional Deficiency

Deficiency of B vitamins, specially vitamin B12 and folate, cause numbness and tingling. Secondly, low levels of mineral potassium is also one of the prominent causes for tingling in feet.
Apart from those mentioned earlier, tingling in feet and toes can also be caused due to lumbar spinal stenosis, multiple sclerosis, ruptured or herniated disc, Rheumatoid arthritis, side effects of medication, etc.
If these symptoms last for more than one day and are not relieved with home remedies, you should consult the doctor immediately. Secondly, if you experience numbness in other parts of the body except feet, or experience other accompanying symptoms like headache, etc., you should seek emergency medical care.


Methods like X-ray and MRI help in diagnosing the underlying cause of feet numbness.
At the same time, you should explain the exact nature of your symptoms, the duration, time of onset, etc., to the doctor as it helps in quicker diagnosis. The treatment may include either medication, physical therapy; or even a surgery.
Treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome include medications and physical therapy. Tingling toes and numbness caused during pregnancy subside after the childbirth. However, pregnant women should consult the doctor and look for exercises for reducing leg pain and other symptoms. Diabetes can be controlled greatly by following a strict diet and medication routine.
When talking about preventive measures, note that minor causes of feet numbness can be prevented by following simple measures.
  • You should avoid wearing very tight-fitting shoes as they can cause pain, numbness and blisters.
  • Secondly, try to shift your leg position after regular intervals to ensure an easy blood flow.
  • Thirdly, if numbness and tingling is caused as a side effect of a drug, inform your doctor immediately.
  • It is recommended to get your thyroid levels checked if you suffer from these symptoms.
  • Lastly, if you are undertaking strenuous workout, make sure you do it under the supervision of a trainer.
Therefore, numbness in toes can be caused due to severe causes, and hence, it is advisable not to ignore the symptoms. Consulting the doctor for consultation and treatment should be your top priority.
Disclaimer: This is meant only for informational purposes, and is not to be substituted for medical advice.