Why do my feet go numb on the elliptical machine or with cycling?
There are 2 arches in our feet. There is the one most of us think of that runs the length of our foot and there is another less known one that runs across the width of the foot at the “ball”. This is called your metatarsal or transverse arch. Most of us don’t realize this arch can fall or drop.
Often the only symptom we may notice is our shoe size increases by ½ a size. This sometime occurs during or after a pregnancy, with higher impact activities, or even just with age. Our feet have receptors on the bottom that bypass our conscious control and we will alter the way we walk to avoid any foot pain. When the transverse arch drops we may push off involving the big toe to avoid the dropped bones in the ball of the feet. A callus may develop on the big toes but you experience no discomfort. However, if that arch has dropped and you have to load the ball of the foot, like on the elliptical or while cycling, the toes may go numb. The reason that occurs is the nerves that run between the metatarsals in the foot get compressed and numbness results.
The solution to this may be to add metatarsal pads to the footwear to splay the metatarsals thus take the pressure off the nerves.
Adhesive metatarsal pads are available here!