What is toe paresthesia?

Toe paresthesia is a condition commonly known as pins and needles, although it can extend to complete numbness or even burning that occurs in one or more toes. This condition occurs when a nerve serving that part of the body becomes compressed for any reason, causing discomfort. Toe paresthesia usually only lasts a few minutes, although it can last for several minutes or even an hour or more; If the condition persists or becomes chronic, the person with the condition should see a doctor immediately, as this may be an indication of a more serious problem.

When a nerve is compressed or the function of that nerve is impaired for any reason, a variety of conditions can occur. Nerves run throughout the body, and if the nerve serving the foot becomes compressed or otherwise damaged, paresthesia in the toes can occur. The toe may go numb, or it may tingle with the sensation of pins and needles. Generally, once the nerve is no longer compressed, the tingling will stop and the toe will function normally. However, if that tingling doesn't go away, the nerve may have been severely damaged and a doctor's attention may be in order.

In less common cases, a bone fracture can cause paresthesias in the toes; the fractured bone will essentially drop out of its normal position and compress the nerve that services the toe. This compression can lead to paresthesias in the toes, and the remedy for such compression is to address the fracture directly. In most cases, this will cure the condition, unless more serious neurological damage has occurred. Other conditions that can lead to finger paresthesias can also be more serious; The onset of diabetes, for example, can alter neurological function, manifesting as paresthesia of the toe or other parts of the body.

Other conditions can cause this condition, and while some are quite serious, others are quite benign and do not require medical attention. Sometimes when weight is placed on the foot at an odd angle for a prolonged period of time, part or all of the foot may go numb or tingly. Such a situation can occur if a person sits on his own foot or falls asleep in an awkward position. The tingling and numbness will usually stop once the foot pressure is released from the leg, although the tingling may remain for several minutes afterward.

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