Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does my foot go numb when running for a long distance?"
I'm a 18 year old runner who's recently been having problems with numbness in my foot when running. After around 30 minutes of running my foot goes completely numb. It's like running on a block. Although it's not a painful issue it's certainly annoying. I've heard that it could be an issue with my shoe rubbing on a tendon or nerve, but I've never had this issue until recently. Any insight into what may be causing this?
These symptoms are quite common in runners, and they are fortunately not usually very serious. The most common causes are quite simple: 1. Your shoes may be too tight; you can sort this out by going to an athletic shoe store and having them make sure your shoe size is right. 2. Your shoelaces might be too tight! You may try loosening the laces and seeing if that makes a difference. 3. Your shoes are worn out. If the padding in the bottoms of your shoes is no longer absorbing the impact of the bottom of your foot on the ground this can cause numbness and pain. Most shoe manufacturers will recommend how often you should change shoes based on mileage, and you should follow these recommendations. If none of these approaches work, or if you have any swelling in your foot or any developing sores, then you should see a doctor. Occasionally, for example, local swelling, numbness, and pain might indicate a small stress fracture in one of the small bones of the foot and you would not want to miss this. As always, common sense while exercising is important. If your exercise regimen is causing you pain, you should back off and, if it does not get better, see your doctor.
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