Try to say this title 3 times fast!!!
I recently joined a spinning class at my gym. For those of you who aren’t familiar, spinning is a fast paced stationary biking class that simulates flat road rides and uphill climbs that you would experience on a real bike ride. During the class your feet are strapped to the pedals. About half way through my first class I noticed that all 10 of my toes were going numb. When class was over, the numbness resolved itself almost immediately.
For the next class I came prepared with my Dr. Jill’s Ball of Foot Gel Cushions. I love these gel pads- they are reusable, self sticking, and work in ALL shoe types. I can even wear them in sandals and while barefoot. Since they are re-usable and self-sticking, it saves me money because I don’t have to go out and buy new pads all the time. The entire line of Dr. Jill’s Foot Pads was created and designed by a fellow podiatrist (Dr. Jill!), and they are all made in this country. During my spinning class, the pads relieved the pressure on my feet and prevented most of the numbness that I experienced in the previous class.
Many patients have experienced the same type of numbness and tingling while using exercise equipment. Machines where your feet remain stationary, such as an exercise bike or elliptical runner, are especially prone to causing pain. Thisis most likely due to a neuroma in the foot. A neuroma is an enlargement of a nerve. In the foot, neuromas occur in the nerves that run between the metatarsal heads, the bones that form the “ball” of your foot. The constant pressure put on the foot while working out can compress the enlarged nerve, causing numbness and/or tingling. Appropriate padding (like Dr. Jill’s!) placed behind the metatarsal heads on the bottom of the foot will offload the area and distribute weight more evenly. This allows less compression on the nerves, hence decreasing the tingling sensation.
The numbness and tingling could also be caused by tight shoes or laces that are tied too tight. Feet swell when you exercise. If you experience pain when exercising, check to make sure your shoes fit properly. You may need to loosen your shoe laces a bit to accommodate swelling throughout your workout. The soles of your shoes should be flexible in the ball of the foot and have room to move your toes. Try a well-cushioned sock for reinforcement, such as Aetrex Copper Sole Socks so that perspiration is "wicked" away too.
For longer workouts, taking a few breaks will alleviate the constant pressure on your feet. In most cases, the numbness should subside once your workout ends. If the problem persists long after the workout there could be a more serious problem and you should make an appointment at Heartland Foot and Ankle to have it checked out. Happy exercising!!