Why Do My Feet Go Numb When I Run? Prepare To Be Shocked!
Why do I always get this numb feeling on my feet when I run? Is it my running shoes or my running style? Is it a medical condition? These are the questions I always ask myself whenever I get numb feet while running.
The first time it happened I was really scared and bummed since I love loving. Since I am a regular runner, this happens once in a while. Since I wanted to understand this better and put a stop to it if possible, I decided to do a bit of research and dig up more information.
What If Foot Numbness ?
The first thing I did was to find out what feet numbness was. According to DR. George Krucik, feet numbness is`` losing sensation in your feet”. Basically you cannot feel your foot’s position against the ground.
Foot numbness is accompanied by prickling, pins and needles sensation, tingling and weak feeling in your foot. Medically, foot numbness may be caused by blocked nerve, infected nerve or compression of a nerve that travels to the feet.
There are so many medical conditions that may cause foot numbness. You can also get numbness from sitting at one position for too long. However, today we will focus on foot numbness that occurs during running. This is not severe a medical conditional so take it easy, and it can be sorted out by you.
SO WHY DO MY FEET GO NUMB WHEN I RUN?
As I had mentioned earlier, foot numbness is caused by a blocked, infected or compressed nerve. Nerve compression is when too much pressure is applied to the nerve by surrounding tissue. I hope I will help you understand what causes nerve compression during your running that results in numb feet.
This is a common cause of feet numbness that many runners do not realize. Tight shoes often cause nerve entrapment. The shoes might be poorly fitting shoes or they may be very tightly laced shoes. These may cause the nerves to be compressed leading to numbness.
Trauma, whether due to a physical injury or a surgery is a very common cause of nerve damage. If you have had any form of injury in your foot, it may be strong enough to mess up with your nerves. Whenever you apply pressure on your foot while running, the pressure on your damaged nerve may cause numbness on your feet.
The structure of your foot
Some of have feet which are very flat or feet which are overly flexible. People with such feet structures are more likely to compress their nerves while running than those with regular feet structure.
When your nerve is overly compressed, it develops a scar tissue, which leads to feet numbness.
Poor running practices
Your nerve may get compressed, resulting to foot numbness if you have practices like slapping your feet hard on the pavements while running. Some of us overdo running and tire out our feet too much.
These types of socks can also cause nerve compression.
When your tendons are too tight, they can affect your movements causing discomfort, pain and numbness in your feet.
Apart from these, there are other conditions that can cause foot numbness as explained at here .
Now that we know what causes foot numbness, how can we put a stop to this? Seeking medical help seems like a brilliant idea, but before we get to that, I have some do it yourself tips which you can take care of at home.
DIY (do it yourself) treatment for foot numbness
- Buy larger shoes: your shoes should a comfortable fit, the length and the width of your shoes should not feel tight against your feet.
- Buy shoes with a stiffer sole: stiff soles limit discomfort and reduce the pressure applied on your shoes.
- Buy Shoes models that correct rolling of your feet while running, or better yet, try running without rolling your feet and slapping your feet hard on the pavement. If you cannot access these models, slowly practicing to reduce this practice will eventually payoff.
- Don't lace your shoes too tight: a properly laced shoe supports the foot evenly, and comfortably. Make sure your laces are free enough for you to move your feet comfortably but not to free that your shoes fall off. You should have the perfect middle ground. Here is a lacing technique that might help.
- Try wearing thinner socks. We have seen that thick socks may cause foot numbness while running, so maybe you should give thin socks a try.
- Don’t overdo running. You should not increase tour running distance abruptly. Do not beat yourself up. Improve your distance gradually and walk in-between your running to give you feet some break and adjustment.
- Assess your training plan. Stretch before you run and have an elaborate running schedule to help you out. Here is a video on how you can treat your numbness while running.
Some people believe landing on toes first while others believe landing on heel first is the best way to run. Studies show 80% of people land heel first, while 15% land toe first, the rest are forefoot runners. There is no harm in running using any of those methods.
All those methods are safe, however. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. Research shows forefoot running is faster and more efficient while heel landing or rare foot running is easier and more comfortable.
If you try all these and you are still experiencing foot numbness, a visit to the doctor is necessary.
Visit a doctor and get tests done on your foot. You might be having a medical condition which causes foot numbness a foot and ankle specialist, an orthopedic surgeon or a sports medicine doctor. These specialists deal with nerves, bones and injuries related to them.
Do not self diagnose yourself on painkillers; make sure you visit a doctor first.
In conclusion, foot numbness does not occur all the time, but if it occurs, there is nothing to panic about. Just follow these simple steps
- Check if any of the causes above might be affecting you.
- Try the DIY method of treatment. If you do not get positive results,
- Visit a doctor or a specialist for further assessment and advice.
I hope you found the article helpful. Feel free to input in the comments section and don’t give up on running because of simple numbness. Now you know!