Numbness in Foot during running

Numbness in Foot

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14/05/2007 at 18:58
Saw my GP today about my foot numbness problem. He said he used to be a runner and also got this but didn't know what had caused it! He said that as I got it in both my feet he suspected that it might be a spine/nerve problem that was aggravated by the heavy pounding. He said I should go back to the sports physio and explore this fully but said if needed he could refer me to a neurologist.

He did say that if the probelm couldn't be resolved then he might have to advise that I reduced, or even stoppped, my running.
24/05/2007 at 23:15
I hear all this talk of numbness in feet and calfs etc. I get a numbness in my fingers sometimes when I have run for maybe 1 hour, I can also get it whilst swimming too, any ideas ? my doctor says it could be a trapped nerve in my neck ??
13/07/2007 at 10:59
OMG! I am so glad I found this. My foot has been numb for a few days now. My calf feels really tight and it feels weird to walk.
13/07/2007 at 14:38
hey guys ive found a really good site called www.thornbers-podiatry.co.uk its a site run by specialist podiatrists and physio's, they have an on-line injury clinic and if you e-mail them you will get a reply from a specialist and its free, i got some really good advice from them.
09/09/2007 at 23:38
I can't believe I have not googled this problem before - I am sooo relived to have found this thread. I have been running for 6 years now injury free with one marathon, one half and many 10ks under my belt. I did the Great North Run last year and all was fine....running tailed off and then picked it back up again at the start of 2007. On my first run back, I noticed my right foot started to go numb after 10 mins and every run since then, it has gone numb always after 10 mins. Both feet now do it and once I have felt a tingling up my left calf. It also happens for me when cycling (after an hour), cross trainer (after 10 mins). I have generally tight calves and on my right foot, I sometimes feel like my achilles is near snapping point. I also have what feels like a permanatly spasmed muscle just under my bum on my right leg. I went to the physio for my achilles and he said it was to do with my lower back which may have been causing the numbness......after weeks of treatment, nothing was changing and he started to get worried about compartment syndromme. He then didnt want to treat me any more in case he caused more damage. I was sent to a neurologist who was baffled - he sent me for an MRI scan of lower back....nothing. Then I was sent for a nerve function test....nothing again. I have an MRI scan on upper back coming up to see if there is anything there. So none the wiser and very frustrated but very hopefull now I have found there are so many others with this problem. I am going to go back to a new physio and show this thread to them - I also plan to send to the neurologist to prove I am not the only one out there suffering from this. If anyone has had any miracle diagnosis that have helped, please please let me know as I really want this gone - beggining to feel like running career is over.
17/10/2007 at 19:03
I have the same issue when Im running. I start to warm up then start to ran and I get this pain on my left and right calfs, they tighten up, so i have to stop , run, then later my feet go all numb. I dont know , what could be the problem. its so weird. help.
Tav
18/10/2007 at 12:24
I get this too! I don't remember getting it when I was running 3 years ago, but lately I have been getting it. I have also just bought some 1000 mile socks, and they feel quite snug which I don't think my feet like. I unlaced the top holes in my NB 765's yesterday, and loosened the laces considerably, which helped. This is on a 4-mile run, after 2 miles or so. I think the laces need more loosening still, and for short distances I probably don't even need pillows for socks.
18/10/2007 at 18:40

Ditto.  I do find that stopping and stretching glutes helps. (Lean against a post of some sort, hug one knee to chest with one hand, pull the foot across and up until you can feel the stretch in glutes - may take 4,5 seconds, hold it for maybe 10secs more.  This can release it.  Then again, some days nothing does.

I am pretty confident the problem is not in my spine, but where sciatic nerve goes through glutes.  Not sure I would try those stretches if I were worried about spinal problems.  I am not convinced that running through the shooting pains in calves is a good idea either.  Impossible to tell whether it is just sensory nerves telling porky pies because they are pinched, or whether the sensory nerves are telling the truth, and because the motor nerves aren't functioning properly the muscles are not releasing, and the pain is the pain of little muscles tearing.

Kariebo, have you googled sciatica?

18/10/2007 at 19:01
No need to google it, I suffer from it occasionally   Mainly down my left side and it's my left foot that is numb.   I guess there's my answer.  uh oh
18/10/2007 at 20:13

Well I was doing some research and my issue with the calfs tighting up and later the numbness its called compartment syndrome. well I still been exercising doing other actiivities and still hurt a little.

Tav
19/10/2007 at 21:12
I went out for a run tonight, usuual length at just over 4 miles. This time I loosened my NB 765's considerably and had no problems. I think the nerves travelling along the top of the foot can be affected quite easily, and I find that the NB's are quite shallow in this area.
23/10/2007 at 18:20

I should've looked this up on the forum ages ago, I've been worrying about my numb feet and 'stump syndrome' for ages and its good to know that loads of other people have this problem. 

I've been trying to work out why, when I did and trained for the London Marathon 5 years ago, that my feet were fine, but since then I've had numbness during a lot of the road races I've done - all distances, from 5k to half marathon. They don't go numb when I train off road. The only thing I was doing differently when training for the LM was that I was doing a yoga class regularly, so perhaps the extra stretching I was doing then must have helped.

19/11/2007 at 22:05
Numb feet whilst running has been the bane of my life (have posted here before about it) but touch wood for the past few months I've not had a problem and I think I may know why...When my GP said it could be a nerve issue in my back I decided to lose some weight - I wasn't overweight (I was 78kgs and height 5ft 11) but I reckoned if I was carrying a few unnecessary kgs that couldn't be helpful.  So over the summer (when I wasn't running due to an injury) I dieted and lost about a stone to get down to my current weight of 72kgs.  Since then, no numb feet.  Of course it could all be coincidence but for people who have this problem and have tried everything else...
21/11/2007 at 14:24

Don't know if this helps any of you numb foot people.

This time last year I had a series of minor injuries and niggles, tight calf, twisted knee and ankle amongst them. Ended up with what Dr thought was a stress fracture on tibia. There was one point that was very tender but kept getting loads of pins 'n needles, odd sensations up and down leg, Pain on top of foot with burning, numb sensations.  At that point most of those felt minor compared to the stabbing pain.

Eventually went to phisio (whilst waiting on NHS) who said it was probably nothing and could only find soft tissue damage. So had massage and ultrasound, she said I'd be back running soon. That took care of lots of my soreness but was left with the odd numbness, burning, pins 'n needles and pain over foot. Settled down over the months so it only really bothers me too much if I exercise. Then the pain and numbbess gets much worse, especially when flexing.  Then I also get pain in toes and they sometimes feel cold and numb.

11 months of NHS refferals, giving up on the phiso and they're pretty sure there's a problem where the nerve comes down leg and the point it comes up into foot. Could've been caused by an impact injury or tight calf muscle.

For someone may be worth googling terms like peroneal nerve.

21/11/2007 at 14:34

Are most of you getting complete numbness. I mean stick a needle into you and not feel it? Or the sensation of numbness?

Check your trainers are correct for you, gait is correct and wit this weather are your extremites wram enough. This should solve most problems.

I have proper complete numbness down oneside and can still finish tris, so don't panic. Compartment syndrome is rare!

21/11/2007 at 17:54
Ok I went running on the treadmil and felt real good. My feet didnt go numb and all I had was some tightness in the calfs not bad though. I felt real good running on the treadmil that on a dirt track. Im was wondering what is the tighness of the calf and why does it happen?
04/02/2008 at 16:03

Check out this link http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/tarsal-tunnel-syndrome.htm

Sound familiar ? It basically describes just about all of the above symptons in this thread and seems to quite simply describe what you (and I for that matter !) are all suffering. It's pressure on a nerve which runs down the inside of the ankle and into the sole of the foot. Repeated impact compresses this nerve and causes tingling, then numbness. There are a few suggestions about how to deal with it but no magic cure unfortunately. Personally, when this comes on during a run, I stop and wait until the feeling has come back into my foot completely then carry on. Doing this once or twice during a run usually stops it coming back again. Don't be impatient to get going again too quickly as it will just come back. Just stop your watch and don't beat yourself up about having to stop.

04/02/2008 at 16:08
Oh, and one other thing - a couple of Ibuprofen 20 mins before you start can really help and I usually carry a couple of spare tablets with me on a long run and pop them about an hour and a half after the first ones !
04/02/2008 at 21:47
I have been reading all the threads on this & cant believe there are so many people out there with the same problem as me. I am getting very frustrated with this as every time i do speed work or a quicker race i get tightness in my shin,calf then my ankle. It eventually goes numb & i have no choice but to stop. Idon't tend to suffer so much on longer races or longer training runs. I am training for London & im upto 19 miles & i don't seem to suffer so much. Yesterday i ran a 4.4 mile race which after 2 miles i was suffering big time & had to stop.I really think i need to stop all speed work to see if this helps.Anymore suggestions....please!!!
07/02/2008 at 00:50

Hi, I'm an engineer who's had this same problem, and I think I may have solved it.

I read a post on maybe page 2 or 3 that talked about the blood vessel on top of the foot, which got me thinking.

I was intrigued in my case as to why it might only be happening in one foot. Because it happens when you run, it implied to me that it was some sort of physical deformation happening somewhere in the leg, probably by a generalised swelling.

I looked at the top of my feet the other day and noticed that the blood vessels tracked different paths on the top of my foot. This is what's different between the feet, causing some people to have it in either one or both feet. I cant see anything else that makes the feet different.

My theory is that the problem is a reduced circulation flow caused by shoes simply being too tight. 

It makes sense. A congenital defect i thought very unlikely, especially since lots of people seem to have this same problem, and neurologists and other nerve, back, musculoskeletal specialists have all been dumbfounded because they were looking for a "problem" that wasnt there. Dietry or nutritional cuases would imply both feet, and that person who lost weight and had _some_ improvement, implying the extra fat around the foot simply exaccerbated the existing blood flow problem. Some improvements for some people in different temperatures or attempting to looses laces also makes sense; it will work for some people who have a particular shaped foot, vein structure, and run style.

I've started running at the beach with no shoes, and guess what, problem solved.

If you're running in the future and you get stumpy syndrome, TAKE YOUR SHOE COMPELTELY OFF and see what happens and let me know.

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