What causes toes to go numb?

Updated June 13, 2017

A tingling, prickly or numb feeling in your toes can be uncomfortable and makes it difficult for you to get up and walk around. Numb toes may be a symptom of serious medical conditions or it may be nothing more than a temporary annoyance. Certain medical disorders and personal habits are among the causes of numb toes.

Lack of Movement

If you sit in your desk chair or driver's seat for many hours without getting up to move around, you may experience numbness in your feet and toes.


Numbness in your toes may be caused by poor posture such as crossing your legs at your knees or ankles, sitting with your legs folded or with a foot underneath you.

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation as a result of diabetes or heart disease may cause a lack of blood supply to your feet, resulting in numbness.

Artery Disease

Narrowing or hardening of the arteries in your legs can cause numbness in your toes, especially while standing or walking.


A direct injury to your toes or foot may cause numbness in your toes, along with other symptoms such as swelling and redness.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of progressive damage to the nerves of your body that begins with symptoms such as pain, burning and numbness in your toes.

Mineral Imbalances

An imbalance of potassium, sodium or calcium in your blood may cause cramping and numbness in your legs, feet and toes.

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About the Author

Jessica Lietz has been writing about health-related topics since 2009. She has several years of experience in genetics research, survey design, analysis and epidemiology, working on both infectious and chronic diseases. Lietz holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from The Ohio State University.