Pain, numbness and tingling in either big toe can be due to many factors or conditions, including an injury, prolonged sitting in the same position and shoes that fit poorly, according to HealthGrades. Other possibilities include impaired blood circulation, nerve damage from temperature extremes or toxic substances, and peripheral neuropathy
In peripheral neuropathy, the peripheral nerves that send signals to and from the body to the brain and spinal cord do not work properly, according to HealthGrades. Several specific diseases cause peripheral neuropathy, though in some cases the cause is unknown.
Some patients with diabetes develop nerve damage, which results in a diabetic neuropathy, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. For some, the first symptoms of the neuropathy are numbness and tingling in the extremities, particularly in the toes and feet.
Direct compression of the nerves of the foot by too-tight or poorly fitting footwear is the most common cause of paresthesia, or numbness, of the toes, according to MediceneNet. Compression of blood vessels also might cause pain or tingling in the toe. A radiculopathy, or pinched nerve in the spine, can cause numbness of the foot by irritating the nerves in the lower back.
Peripheral vascular disease also might cause numbness in the extremities, including the toes, according to MedicineNet.