Symptoms A-Z

Numbness in One Foot Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand numbness in one foot symptoms, including 5 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 5 Possible Numbness In One Foot Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

5 Possible Numbness In One Foot Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced numbness in one foot. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a general term describing any shooting pain that begins at the spine and travels down the leg.

The most common cause is a herniated or "slipped" disc in the lower spine. This means some of the cushioning material inside the disc has been forced outward, pressing on a nerve root. Bony irregularities of the spine and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) can also cause sciatica.

Shooting leg pain that may begin suddenly or develop gradually is the most common symptom. Additional symptoms may include weakness, numbness, a pins-and-needles sensation in the leg, and, in severe cases, difficulty moving the foot or bending the knee.

Treatment consists of pain medications and exercises. In severe cases, corticosteroid spinal injections and surgery may also be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, numbness in one foot, pain in one leg, numbness in one thigh

Symptoms that always occur with sciatica: back pain that shoots down the leg

Urgency: Self-treatment

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome refers to the symptoms that result from compression of the posterior tibial nerve. The posterior tibial nerve provides sensation to the bottom of the foot and controls some of the muscles involved in foot structure and movement.

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include pain, sensory changes such as.

Treatments include pain control, the use of braces, physical therapy, the treatment of other underlying causes, and surgery.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: tingling foot, pain in one foot, spontaneous foot pain, heel pain, pain in the top of the foot

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to the feeling of numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensation in the feet. Idiopathic means the cause is not known, and chronic means the condition is ongoing without getting better or worse.

The condition is most often found in people over age 60. Idiopathic neuropathy has no known cause.

Symptoms include uncomfortable numbness and tingling in the feet; difficulty standing or walking due to pain and lack of normal sensitivity; and weakness and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles.

Peripheral neuropathy can greatly interfere with quality of life, so a medical provider should be seen in order to treat the symptoms and reduce the discomfort.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination; blood tests to rule out other conditions; and neurologic and muscle studies such as electromyography.

Treatment involves over-the-counter pain relievers; prescription pain relievers to manage more severe pain; physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation in the feet; and therapeutic footwear to help with balance and walking.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Morton neuroma

Morton neuroma, also called by the older name Morton's neuroma, is a thickening of fibrous tissue in the ball of the foot. This tissue encapsulates the nerve leading to the third and fourth toes. It is not actually a tumor of the nerve, as the name suggests.

The thickening is caused by years of trauma, irritation, and/or compression to the feet. High-heeled shoes, especially if narrow or tight, are a common cause. The condition is most often seen in women over age 45.

Symptoms include burning pain in the ball of the foot, especially with walking or running. The condition will not heal on its own and can lead to chronic foot pain.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination of the foot with simple range of motion exercises, and sometimes x-ray.

Treatment includes changing to better-fitting shoes that do not compress the nerve; using orthotics in the shoes to take more pressure off of the nerve; and in some cases the use of corticosteroid injections.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: foot numbness, pain in the sole of the foot, pain when touching the foot, pain in both feet, foot injury

Urgency: Self-treatment

Fibular nerve injury

The fibular nerves are also known as the peroneal nerves. Fibular nerves run from the lower spine all the way down the back of the leg, ending at the heel. If the fibular nerves are damaged or compressed, this can result in a condition known as foot drop.

The fibular nerves can be damaged through surgery, especially hip replacement or total knee replacement; any injury to the knee or low back; or neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease.

Foot drop means that the person is unable to flex the foot upward from the ankle, because the fibular nerves that control this voluntary movement have been damaged. There may also be pain, numbness and weakness in the foot, and difficulty walking.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, nerve conduction studies, and imaging such as x-ray or MRI.

Treatment involves using orthotics, which are specially made shoes, supports, and braces for the foot; physical therapy; and sometimes surgery to decompress or otherwise help repair the nerve.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: pain in the distribution of fibular nerve, numbness in fibular nerve distribution, difficulty walking or weakness with foot dorsiflexion

Urgency: Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Numbness In One Foot

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with a psychiatric issue, such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder?
  • While lying down on a firm surface, keep both legs straight. Have a friend slowly raise one leg at a time by lifting your ankle into the air. Do you have pain in that leg before fully raising it to a perpendicular position? (This is called the straight leg test.)
  • Do any of your body parts (e.g., toes, hands, ears) feel cold?
  • What is your body mass?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having numbness in one foot

Numbness In One Foot Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced numbness in one foot have also experienced:

  • 6% Lower Back Pain
  • 4% Pain In One Foot
  • 3% Swelling Of One Foot

People who have experienced numbness in one foot were most often matched with:

  • 50% Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • 37% Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • 12% Sciatica

People who have experienced numbness in one foot had symptoms persist for:

  • 37% Less than a day
  • 27% Over a month
  • 19% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Numbness In One Foot Symptom Checker

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