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Toes start to tingle while riding

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  • Toes start to tingle while riding

    I have injured both of ankles in the past but was able to complete physical therapy and successfully get back to riding dressage. Jumping with the shorter stirrups and more weight in the heel originally caused some ankle tightness and other uncomfortable feeling, so I put that on the back burner.

    I was able to ride for several years after PT with no pain. Sometimes there might be some stiffness in my ankles, but that went away with time and stretching. But for the last 1-1.5 years, I've been experiencing a tingling sensation in my toes (nothing in my ankles). I thought it could have been related to my stirrups or boots, but I've ridden in both my paddock boots and tall boots with no changes. I rode in the MDC wide thread with metal grate and the MDC rubber thread with no changes. I didn't have any problems with my Herm Sprenger wide thread Bow Balance but sold those thinking the MDC stirrups would be better. It happens in different saddles too.

    My only other thought is maybe I'm putting too much weight into my stirrups or more than my ankles/feet can handle. I used to pinch with my knees but worked to have more weight in my stirrups, seat, and along my legs (not knees). But even just walking around on a hack has caused the tingling feeling too.

    I'm looking into putting additional padding on my stirrups, but was wondering if anyone else might have any suggestions?

  • #2
    How long does this take to start up?

    Absolutely I find I can get a bit of this if I am riding for too long at the walk (like a 3 hour trail ride) or if I am putting too much force into the stirrups over a prolonged period of time. If you had one kind of stirrup that worked, go back to that.

    Also give yourself breaks during your ride. Ride without stirrups if you feel safe doing so, or halt, take your feet out, and shake them all about.


    • #3
      Is it symptomatic of another issue, such as diabetes, and not related to riding. Does the tingle occur in other situations?
      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


      • #4
        Your feet may be getting wider as you age, making both your paddocks and tall boots a bit too narrow which can cause impingement of the nerves that run through your metatarsals. Look up "morton's neuroma" to see if it fits-- nerve tingling can be an early symptom. You could try a metatarsal pad (any drugstore will have them) to see if it gives relief.


        • #5
          I second HungarianHippo's suggestion. That's how my neuromas signalled their presence- tingling and eventually aching pain while riding. I suspect your ankles have little to do with this problem. Maybe see a podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist?
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


          • Original Poster

            Scribbler - It usually happens within 30 minutes into riding.
            I was riding in my MDC stirrups for about a year before the tingling sensation started to occur.

            Willesdon - The only other time I have a similar feeling is when I am skiing. So looking into morton's neuroma might be a good place to start. Doesn't happen when I am walking around the barn in my boots.

            HungarianHippo - Thanks!! My quick search sounds pretty on point with what I am feeling. I had a similar issue while skiing but I always thought it was because I had poor circulation and my feet were cold.

            Calvincrowe - Thanks! What did your doctor do to confirm it was your neuromas? I don't ever have the problem outside of riding or skiing and it takes at least 30 minutes for me to notice the pain.


            • #7
              Ortho doc can diagnose in office, there are some telltale signs when they manipulate those bones in a certain way, and/or a nerve block can provide definitive Dx. Podiatrists will also treat MN, and for a mild case I'm sure that's ok, but I'd only consider an orthopedist if your problem progresses and needs steroid injections or surgery.

              The good news is it's often fixable with non-invasive measures (rest, orthotics, wider shoes). The bad news is you pretty much have to say goodbye forever to cute shoes. Shoes with a wide toe box will be your friend. Take action early. Don't do what I did which was to ignore for a couple of years until it's now a surgical case.


              • #8
                My toes have tingled on/off for years ...I wish I had paid closer attention to that ...turns out I had a major herniated disc between L5-S1 with spinal cord compression...I would suggest back X-rays & mri to be on safe side
                R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by ladipus View Post
                  My toes have tingled on/off for years ...I wish I had paid closer attention to that ...turns out I had a major herniated disc between L5-S1 with spinal cord compression...I would suggest back X-rays & mri to be on safe side
                  Oh wow! Interesting that you mentioned that. My arm/fingers have also started to go numb while I am sleeping, so now I am wondering if it all might be connected. I've already set a reminder to make an appointment tomorrow.