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Toe numbness when exercising

buckydeebbuckydee Posts: 2
edited 12/09/2013 - 4:14 AM in Exercise and Rehab

Just wanted to get some feedback from other forum members as to whether they have experienced any numbness or pins & needles whilst exercising?

I have an L5/S1 disc bulge which finally floored me in July this year and from which I have been slowly recovering with the aid of an excellent physio. I am doing well, but have basically plateaued at intermittent sciatic ache down the right buttock and hamstring. Considering I could hardly walk back in August, I can't complain. However, I believe the disc, although likely having been degenerated for some time, was made worse by cycling to work every day for 10 months on a road bike with no other exercise so I am off cycling, off running (persistent shin splints and not the best knees) and off swimming (aggravates disc). So the only exercise I can do is using a cross trainer. This is great, but I have noticed that I get numb toes on my left foot about 15mins into a workout, which is incredibly annoying. It's also made me remember that I used to get the same thing on my bike, again only on the left foot. I know this is a common occurrence when using a cross trainer, but the fact that I also got it whilst cycling and that changing shoes makes no difference, makes me wonder whether it is related to my back?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully received.



  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 12/09/2013 - 6:35 AM
    My suggestion is that you look at the video on how the lumbar spine works and the nerves it effects. For example while you have sciatic, there is a nerve that branches off the sciatic called the common perineal nerve which can effect the shin and the foot. If you look at a dermatome chart you can see exactly how the nerves work. The question would be is this all on the same side. Typical compression would lead down one leg and all the symptoms one sided. However it can be both legs with similar pain, it depends on what type of bulge you have.

    When is the last time you have seen the doctor or had any images taken? It does sound as your doing better but not completely healed. I am shocked that you are not swimming as a form of exercise as when your in the water your only supporting 20% of your body weight. Water therapy is often prescribed by physio's and surgeons following surgery or as a measure to help the patient prior to surgery. You might reconsider the water, but do it as a form of therapy and not all out swimming laps, just a thought. I know myself I love the water, but over doing it as with all exercise can cause issues and pain. Also are you icing on a regular basis? Icing goes along way following workouts. But also hopefully your doing a lot of stretching exercise. While it can be difficult at times, for myself it is part of getting out of bed in the mourning. Just some ideas that might help in your continued success in getting back, your normal life and back out doing all the things you seemed to enjoy.
  • I had the surgery, and STILL get more tingling and numbness when I exercize or walk or when my PT
    Massages my lumbar spine
    My sline is a mess and there is just so much the surgeons can do with the severe cases we present them

    I Thank God for their skills and knowledge as surgeons. But there is just so much repairing that they can do.
    But I am told nerves that were damaged ir compressed can take 1-2 years to come back.
    So only being 4 months post-op, i hope and pray that nerve gealing will take place

    Hope you feel better very soon

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