What Could Cause Tingling Toes?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Tingling toes, a sensation often experienced when feet fall asleep, can be caused by a variety of problems. Simple causes could be sitting with crossed legs too long, or an injury. These problems are usually temporary. More complex causes could be from conditions, such as restless leg syndrome (RLS) and tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS). When most other causes are ruled out, spinal problems could be a cause.

RLS is a neurological condition. In addition to tingling toes, sufferers can feel other sensations, such as burning feet and an uncontrollable urge to keep moving the legs and feet. Symptoms are usually unbearable while trying to sleep, and prolonged sitting and immobility can also be uncomfortable. Treatments include medications to control the production of dopamine in the brain, muscle relaxants, and opioids.

TTS is similar to carpel tunnel syndrome of the wrist, but it occurs in the ankle area. Tingling toes, feet, and toe numbness occur because the sensory nerve becomes irritated. Although many cases can be treated with rest and adjustments in activities, some cases may require surgical treatment. A surgical procedure can help reduce the pressure causing irritation of the nerve.

Spine conditions can be another cause of tingling toes. In some cases, sufferers may also notice tingling fingers. Numbness in the hands is also reported by many patients.


There are several other conditions that can cause tingling and burning sensations. Sciatica is the pinching or compression of the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs down the lower spine to the leg. Degenerative disc disease is a condition that occurs when the discs or disc tissues between the vertebrae wear out over time, often resulting in pressure on the nerves in the spine. Both of these possible causes of tingling sensations are usually repaired with minor back surgery to correct the problems.

Peripheral neuropathy also has tingling toes as a symptom. This condition occurs when the nerves of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the system connecting the organs and limbs to the central nervous system, are damaged. The PNS is not protected by the skull or spine, which makes it vulnerable to injury.

Blood vessel diseases are another possible cause of sensations of burning numbness, tingling in the feet and toes. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is caused by a blockage of the blood supply. Atherosclerosis, a build up of plaque in the arteries, reduces blood flow to limbs and organs.


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Post 3

@alisha-- That's definitely possible. Vitamin deficiencies can cause tingling in the fingers and toes. I know because my cousin is a vegan and she used to complain of tingly toes before she was diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency. She has to get an annual vitamin B12 injection for it.

An iron deficiency could also be the culprit. People who have restless leg syndrome are given iron and one of the symptoms they have is tingly legs and feet.

You should see your doctor and ask for a blood test to check for deficiencies.

Post 2

Can a vitamin deficiency cause tingling in the toes?

I became a vegetarian last year and recently, I've been experiencing tingling in my toes. Could these be related?

Post 1

I have diabetes in my family so when I started experiencing numbness and tingling in my toes, I started to suspect diabetes.

I went to my doctor and asked for a glucose tolerance test and my guess was right, I have type two diabetes. I started taking anti-diabetic medications last month and I have been put on a diabetic diet.

It's quite amazing that I have been getting tingly toes less frequently since my blood sugar has come under control. I think it's going to resolve completely soon.

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