Peripheral artery disease and peripheral vascular disease are two medical causes of toe numbness, says Healthline. Both of these diseases refer to reduced blood flow in the extremities. However, several other medical conditions also cause numb toes.
Peripheral vascular disease is a condition usually caused by arteriosclerosis that reduces the flow of blood and oxygen in blood vessels in the arms, legs and organs below the stomach, explains Healthline. Peripheral artery disease is a type of peripheral vascular disease that only affects arteries. As plaque builds up in these blood vessels, people feel discomfort in the legs and feet; other symptoms include burning, cramping, fatigue and achiness. As the flow of blood decreases, symptoms appear more often, and additional signs may occur, including discoloration in the extremities, wounds on the legs and feet that don't heal, burning sensations in the toes, thick and opaque toenails, and leg cramps and pain when lying down.
Other medical conditions that cause numb toes include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, sciatica, a herniated disk and inflammation of the blood vessels, according to Healthline. Depending on the cause, a loss of sensation in the toes may be either a temporary symptom or a chronic symptom that can lead to injuries. Numbness is caused by damage or pressure to the nerves. Numbness in the toes is sometimes associated with sports or exercise, because these activities cause impacts that compress the nerves.