Numb Feet When Running? Read This!

Do you get numb feet when running? What about your hands? Do they tingle? Is it uncomfortable? There are many reasons this may happen, and things you can do to prevent it!

If the numbness happens in both your hands and feet on occasion, you are not alone! Some people have the discomfort not just while running, but also during cross-training.

Why?

One reason for this phenomenon is because your nerves have all kinds of responsibilities and sensory nerves are no exception to that rule. Any change in blood supply can impact these sensory nerves. If you experience a change in blood supply to your hands, for example, this can result in this numbness or tingling sensation.

It even has a name: Paresthesia.

Paresthesia

Remember sitting cross-legged on the floor and when you get up, feeling a funny sensation? Your parents may have told you that your leg or foot had, “fallen asleep.” This sensation is paresthesia! Caused by the pressure that cuts off the circulation, it typically goes away fairly quickly.

Paresthesia
Yahoo Finance

If it is a frequent and chronic problem that does not correlate with a clear reason (such as sitting on your foot, for example), it could be an underlying neurological issue that should be addressed by a medical professional.

Positional

Likely, if you get numbness in your hands or feet during a workout, it might be resulting from how you are positioning your body. Let me explain further.

Running and Hand Numbness

While running, you likely have your arm cocked into a position where it is bent at the elbow. This puts your ulnar nerve across your elbow, which cuts off the blood supply. The result of this is that numb, tingling feeling we discussed. This is why you often see runners shaking their hands out, or running with their hands down, during a distance run.

If you clench your hands tightly while running, this can also cause hand numbness. Truthfully, clenching anything (think jaw, teeth, etc.) while running is not the best choice. You should focus on trying to run relaxed.

In addition, you should avoid pumping your arms too vigorously or tensing your arms up when you move them. Either of these can also cause that tingling.

While some runners are seen with their hands down due to numbness, others run with what we call jazz hands to eliminate this tingling or numbness (See photo below).

jazz hands when running
Reddit

When Your Feet Go Numb

One of the most common causes of foot pain and numbness while running is when your shoes do not fit properly.  Many runners do not realize that running shoes should be one-half to one full size bigger than your day to day shoes. Runners who experience problems, including but not limited to foot numbness, may find the shoe they are running in is not a good fit for them.

gait analysis
Reddit

It is strongly recommended that people visit a local running store for a gait analysis and fitting. Professionals put you onto a treadmill, watch how you run, and make recommendations.

Modifying Your Laces Might Help

You also may have your shoelaces tied too tightly, which can cause numbness. Sometimes people’s feet have characteristics that make it in their best interest to tie their shoes differently. For example, if you have a wide forefoot, you may need to leave a gap in your laces (as illustrated above in the lower right of the image).

If you experience tightness overall, lacing number five (lower center of image) might help you feel more comfortable. Changing how you lace your shoes can prevent numbness, tingling, and other forms of foot discomfort.

Consider Your Footfall

Sometimes, how your feet land when you run can cause discomfort. If you are overstriding and you experience numbness, that could be the reason. Running with an overextended stride can cause you to strike with the heel. If you have a gait analysis and are doing this, try to make a conscious effort to shorten your stride some.

Numbness During Other Forms of Exercise

Some athletes also get numbness during other forms of exercise. Whether cycling, cross-training on the elliptical or doing something else,  that numbness can occur.

Elliptical

Many people report numbness on the elliptical, particularly in the toes. This is most common in people who “run” on the elliptical on their toes. Of course, you aren’t really running. What we mean is that you are making the pedals of the elliptical move primarily with your toes touching (and nothing else), you may find yourself feeling numb.

If this happens to you, think about pushing with your entire foot. Focus on having your heel press down on the pedals. If heels and toes stay in contact you are less likely to have problems.

Cycling

Many runners also cycle as a form of cross-training. It is not uncommon for cyclists to have numbness in feet and/or toes. This could be caused by shoes that are too tight. If you wear cycling shoes with clips, the positioning of the clips could also cause numbness.

cycling and feet numbness
Active

Poor cycling posture can also cause numbness in the feet. Also, needing arch support in cycling shoes can cause discomfort. Placing an insert into your cycling shoes can help alleviate that.

Cycling can also cause discomfort and numbness in your hands. Nerve compression in your shoulder, wrist, and elbow can cause numbness that can last anywhere from minutes to hours post-run. One way to avoid this is to sit back in the saddle.

A proper bike fitting when purchasing your ride can help prevent problems.

Be Proactive

The bottom line is that your numbness can be prevented, in many cases. Whether it is in your feet or in your hands, running only or other forms of exercise, there are things you can do.

Sources:
If Your Hands or Feet Ever Feel Numb During a Workout
Paresthesia Information
When Your Foot or Toes Go Numb While Running
Numb Feet, Tingling Toes?

Pin for later

Blog
The Perfect Prerace Meals to Run As Efficiently As Possible
read more >>
Blog
Recovering After Your First Half Marathon: Our Runners' Best Tips
read more >>
Blog
How Many Miles Should I Run a Week to Stay Healthy?
read more >>
Blog
How To Jog Properly: Our Running Coaches Best Tips
read more >>
Blog
What Are Shin Splints and How to Get Rid of Shin Splints [COMPLETE GUIDE]
read more >>
Blog
How To Wash Workout Clothes: Getting Rid of the Stink!
read more >>
Blog
Safety Precautions Every Runner Should Know
read more >>
Blog
How To Establish A Running Schedule For Beginners
read more >>
comments
You can not leave comments. Please SignIn / Register.
Thank youfor your comment on our website!
Rockay Rewards$0.00
Welcome to Rockay Rewards:
faq
Rockay Rewards
Bonus
Shop at Rockay.com!
Earn 10% back on every purchase to be applied towards future orders
bag
FAQ
FAQ:
We value loyal customers!
We have created a loyalty program in order to reward customers who enjoy using Rockay products on a regular basis. We grant 10% credit for every purchase you make in our shop to use for your future purchases.
How to join the Rockay Rewards?
Customers with Rockay accounts are automatically enrolled. If you do not have an account, join Rockay.com today by clicking here to create your account. It is absolutely free!
How to earn credit?
You will earn 10% credit on every purchase you make in Rockay shop. Purchases made with a gift card will not add points to your account.
How to redeem rewards?
You can use your credit at any moment for any purchase. There is no minimum amount that you can use.
How to use rewards?
Rewards are given to you as credits. You can tick the box at checkout to apply your credits on any order you want.
Can I use Rockay Rewards together with other coupons and/or promotions?
Rockay Rewards' credits cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons and discounts.
Who are referrals?
With your coupon your friends will get $5 off their first order and you will get a $5 credit added to your Rockay Rewards balance. Send your code to 10 friends and get a max credit of $50!
Want a Restock? We will have this item in the inventory soon! Let us know that you want to have it by entering your email, and we'll contact you when we get this item in stock!