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Anyone have experience with numbness/tingling in one toe?


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I have just finished day 14 from SJPDP, and for the past 4 days or so, I´ve had a tingling sort of feeling in my left middle toe. It feels like I have tape wrapped around it (which I did for a few days early on in the trip). It is a weird feeling, similar to numbness, yet it is not totally numb, and there is no pain. I am just wondering if anyone who has walked has had a similar issue?


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I've had something like this going on above my right knee for 3 years now.
I've had the allopath, the accupuncturist, and the chiropractor all look at it.
It's just like you describe, a weird "numbness" although not totally numb, and not painful.
Sort of like when the dentist numbs your jaw and it's just starting to come back alive.

I don't know what it is, except perhaps some nerve damage or nerve aggravation.
Maybe your shoes are too tight in the toes or maybe you bumped it?
Morton's neuroma. You can try to find how the nerve is being pinched and relieve the stress point. It usually comes from tight shoes; high heels are particularly bad. Much more likely, you will need to learn to live with it. The fix is to sever nerves, which makes the foot feel numb, which, of course, is what you have in only one toe at the moment. I never quite understood how making the condition more widespread was considered a "fix." I have had it for years. It feels like my sock is bunched up, though I know it is not.
I think that after walking from Le Puy to Santiago my nerves had sort of learned to 'be quiet'- and I experienced some odd feelings in my toes. I think it took about a month after I finished walking until it all felt 'normal' again, but normality did return!
I have noticed that as I have aged that I have a certain numbness around my head. Things I should clearly know have become fuzzy and distant. Faces that I recognize come and go, but their names remain secrets until jogged rather focefully by my sweet wife, and then there are my children. The first time I ask them for their name I am going to give up and become a hermit. We need to always count our blessings; the body may fail in bits, drips, drabs, and by toes, but when the mind goes almost all is lost. Peace
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Annie, you make my attempts to bring a little levity worthwhile; thank you for your hearty response. I was not trying to belittle the health problems of others, but I know that in all things on the Camino we can find reason to be grateful. From bad knees to weak minds; bless us that we might take one more step to be closer to thee and share thy peace with our brothers and sisters.

BTW, I just started Walk in a relaxed manner by Joyce Rupp; what a wonderful read. Others recommended it to me and I am glad.
Hello Tim, I think I can help with the toe numbness. On my first Camino I had numb toes after walking 1200kms from Toulouse. For me it was the middle and fourth toe, and it was about 3 months before I noticed that it had returned to normal.

On my return I mentioned it to friends who I discovered also suffer from the same problem. Their (and now mine) Sports Podiatrist have added special little "bumps" to the orthotics that they wear. This serves to seperate the toes so that the nerves don't get pinched. These "bumps", they have a name but can't help you with it, sit back near the arch of the foot and some people have a small one which would just affect a couple of toes. For me the podiatrist has put a raised patch basically the entire width of my orthotic, and I might add did so with the comment that he doesn't know how I can walk!

On my second Camino, which was roughly 1600kms, I never got numb toes at all using the orthotics every time I had my boots on.

My bushwalking friends tell me that it (Morton's Nueroma) is affected by the factors of walking long distances, heavier foot wear than normal, and that one is carrying considerably more wieght than normal in the form of a backpack.

I certainly found that sports podiatrists were the people to see with this problem. I am delighted that I have eliminated it from my walking these days.

Hope this helps, Cheers, Janet
I did the camino in May/June 2009 (this year). My boots were a pretty good fit, but even so I had numbness on the sides of my big toes about one third of the way between SJPP and Santiago. It sort of spread from there.

Once home (and no longer walking) I am careful to stretch and massage my feet. I roll my feet over a racquetball (a tennis ball would be fine too). The feeling is coming back, except (so far) for the place where the numbness originally started.

I plan to keep stretching my feet & toes and see what happens.
I did the Camino last fall and after a few days noticed that I got a tingling in my third and fourth toes after about an hour of walking. A few minutes later I would get an unbearable pain in the balls of my feet. Fortunately, I also figured out that if I stopped and took off my boots and socks for about 10 minutes, I could walk for another hour until the tingling and then pain started up again. So, I walked 500 miles stopping and taking off my boots and socks every hour -- it was what I had to do to get to Santiago! The only day I didn't get the pain was one when my boots were full of cold rain.

In Leon, someone suggested that I try to separate my toes, so I wrapped lambswool around them, and the problem was slightly better. By the way, lambswool is amazing stuff, weighs nothing, and is unavailable in Spain, so bring lots with you.

Once back home, the problem was diagnosed as Morton's Neuroma. I had orthotics, but before I try the Camino again I will look for a sports podiatrist and try to find a better solution.
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Marthas, You have described what I went through on the camino with my toes and the balls of my feet and even the timing to a tee! Morton's Neuroma. I am going to look into that. Thanks so much for your post and giving me something to work with. I am planning on walking the camino del norte next May and have been fretting about my footwear. It's such a drag to have to stop everything and deal with the loud feet. I did and it was truly like clockwork. Sometimes I would beg my feet to just last another 20 minutes or half an hour.... I just did a 9 hour walk in the mountains,where I live, very steep both up and down and only experienced the phenomina at about hour 3 and it was time for lunch. I love my boots. But I don't like the discomfort that seems to come from me, not my boots. If you find out anything more, please post. I will do the same. Cheers, mg
Ahh, mg, someone who understands that it's not a problem with socks, boots, or my imagination! I know well how it was to beg my feet to keep going a little longer. Too bad we didn't meet on the camino so we could share those frequent breaks.

I haven't looked into it too carefully, but I understand that surgery or cortisone shots are an option. I will look into it before doing another camino. It doesn't bother me too much in the course of my usually too sedentary life now. I am jealous that you are able to do the camino del norte next year -- I think it will be a couple years before I can get away again for a significant period of time. Let me know how it goes, and especially if you find any good solutions for your feet!

I had a great deal of trouble with Mortons neuroma in both feet 3 years ago, It reached the point where It was too uncomfortable to wear closed shoes at all. I had to go to work in sandals despite the fact the rest of me was not dressed casually. Cortisone shots only gave temporary relief. The neuroma is a tumour which forms on the nerves which lead to the toes. I had both mine surgically removed and have never looked back. This year I did the Camino Frances without any foot trouble whatsoever.
Sandra :arrow:
Good old Mortons! Your surgery story to have the tumours removed is inspiring. I am going to look into it. I have been enjoying your blog Sandra and I like how you promised not to leave it dangling once you finished your camino. Your pix are great. It must be a nice way of keeping the post camino blues at bay. All the best. I'll post anything I learn about my own, what I am sure, is Morton's Nueroma.
Thanks for your kind remarks, marjorita. My post-camino blues have been replaced by the certainty that I shall be doing another Camino. Regarding the surgery, when they remove the tumour (which is benign) they also have to remove the nerve end it is attached to. This means that the toe(s) the nerve led to will lose some sensitivity and become partially or completely numb. I have become used to this numbness and it does not affect my walking or what shoes I wear in any way whatsoever.
Sandra :arrow:
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I well remember the years of backpacking when my wife had to stop every hour or so, remove her boots and massage her foot to relieve the pain from her Morton's neuroma. The surgery she subsequently agreed to has completely relieved the problem.
Sansthing said:
Cortisone shots only gave temporary relief. The neuroma is a tumour which forms on the nerves which lead to the toes. I had both mine surgically removed and have never looked back. This year I did the Camino Frances without any foot trouble whatsoever.
Sandra :arrow:

Sandra...thank you! I too have a neuroma in my right foot! It also effects me when I'm cycling...esp when it's hot and I go beyond say 30 miles. Curling and moving and wiggling the toes helps, temporarily. When I'm done I have to ditch the bike shoes ASAP, and put on flip flops..then I'm ok. Same with hiking. I've gotten the shots...they help for months, at least for me. Good to know that someone has had the surgery and is happy with the results. Can't let anything get between me and "Play" time aka, hiking, biking etc!

YES! 100% exactly what is happening to me right now. My left side middle toe is completely numb this morning. I just woke up and was searching google to find out what it could be when i came across this post. The only thing i can think of is maybe the sheets were too tight at the bottom of the bed... it is a weird feeling.
jep704 said:
YES! 100% exactly what is happening to me right now. My left side middle toe is completely numb this morning. I just woke up and was searching google to find out what it could be when i came across this post. The only thing i can think of is maybe the sheets were too tight at the bottom of the bed... it is a weird feeling.
I've also had the same. Middle left toe. Slightly numb, not painful, but uncomfortable. We are the chosen ones. :D

Buen Camino!

ps. It usually eases off over the course of the day, and then over the course of the Camino, in my case anyway.
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I found this old discussion and thought about giving my 2 cents:
Last May/June in the middle of the french way I started feeling my 3rd and 4th toes a bit strange, like a numbness. It was very annoying but not life-threatening so I didn't worry much about it. Now, 4 months after completing the Camino the toes finally feel normal again. I suspect (from the comments above) it was Morton's neuroma, but in my case it disappeared after 4 months.

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