Toe paresthesia is a condition commonly known as pins and needles, though it can extend to complete numbness or even burning that occurs in one or more toes of the foot. This condition occurs when a nerve that services that part of the body is compressed for any reason, leading to discomfort. Toe paresthesia usually only lasts a few minutes, though it can last several minutes or even an hour or more; if the condition persists or becomes chronic, the person suffering from the condition should see a doctor immediately, as this may be an indication of a more serious problem.
When a nerve becomes compressed or the function of that nerve is altered for any reason, a variety of conditions may result. Nerves run throughout the entire body, and if the nerve that services the foot becomes compressed or otherwise damaged, toe paresthesia may result. The toe may become numb, or it may tingle with the pins and needles sensation. Generally, once the nerve is no longer compressed, the tingling will cease and the toe will function normally. If, however, that tingling does not go away, the nerve may have been damaged severely and attention from a doctor may be in order.
In less common cases, a bone fracture can lead to toe paresthesia; the fractured bone will essentially leave its normal position and compress the nerve that services the toe. This compression can lead to the condition, and the remedy for such compression is to address the fracture directly. In most cases, this will cure the condition, unless more severe neurological damage has been done. Other conditions that can lead to toe paresthesia can also be more severe; the onset of diabetes, for example, can alter neurological function, manifesting itself 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 fairly benign and will not require medical attention. Sometimes when weight is placed on the foot at an odd angle for an extended period of time, part or all of the foot may go numb or become tingly. Such a situation can occur if a person sits on his or her own foot, or falls asleep in a strange position. The tingling and numbness will generally cease once pressure is released from the foot of leg, though the tingling may remain for several minutes afterward.