Elliptical machines are an excellent, low-impact alternative to aerobic exercise for those with knee, hip, or back problems. However, after using it for a while, you may occasionally experience numbness in your feet or toes.
This is certainly annoying, as it can break your concentration and interrupt your cardio workout. You may also feel that you can’t keep up. But do not be afraid. It can happen to anyone. But this is usually not a sign of a more serious situation.
Why do my feet go numb?
“Foot numbness (also known as dysesthesia) is very common when using the elliptical,” says Kimberly Steward, center manager at Banner Physical Therapy in Sun City, Arizona.” Constant pressure on the nerves and sides of the foot for long periods of time can cause numbness in the toes and feet.”
Repetitive movement or pressure on the soles or toes can reduce blood flow to those areas. If the shoes are too small or the laces are too tight, the feet may swell and feel numb during exercise.
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How can I prevent numbness in my feet?
Dr. Steward suggests four solutions worth trying to restore blood flow to the feet.
Try wearing larger shoes. Larger shoe sizes can accommodate swelling that occurs in the feet and give pigs more room. If they are too tight around the toes, you may experience tingling and pain. However, remember that if the shoes are too loose, the toes will overgrip the shoe, which can also cause tingling. Tip: Buy training shoes a half size larger than usual.
Rotate the pedals backward. If you begin to feel numb, rotate the pedals backward for a few minutes. This may change the pressure distribution in the foot, decompressing nerves and allowing blood flow to flow to smaller compartments of the foot.
Move the heel toward the ball of the thumb. Mimicking the natural heel-to-toe pressure felt when walking can relieve the constant pressure on the forefoot.
Reduce the amount of time spent on the elliptical. Reducing the duration of the exercise or taking intermittent breaks can also help.
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What happens if I continue to exercise despite numbness?
Dr. Steward warns, “It’s not a good idea to exercise when you have numbness.” If you lose feeling in your legs, you risk losing your balance and falling. Be very careful when getting off the bike.”
Do you have persistent numbness or pain in your feet?
If the numbness occurs with other movements and is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, burning, or weakness, it may be due to other causes of
nerve irritation and is best treated by a physician Make an appointment with a Banner Health specialist for a diagnosis.
A Size Up
A simple reason for foot numbness on an elliptical and an easy change is to wear larger shoes. You don’t have to switch to clown waders, but talk to a shoe pro about your numb feet and increase by half size. Your feet swell during exercise, and the larger room in your shoe prevents the numbness that occurs when shoes are too tight.
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Your feet don’t take full responsibility for going numb. The elliptical keeps the foot steady and on a flat pedal. If this is the cause of your reduced sensation, look for a different type of machine. Some ellipticals have footpads that rotate to move the heels and toes up and down. This can reduce the possibility of foot numbness.
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The whole foot and nothing but the foot
The placement of the feet on the footpads makes a difference. The entire foot remains in contact with the pads throughout the elliptical movement. If you find your weight moving forward into the balls of your feet, you may experience numbness. Slide your feet forward or backward on the pedals until you are comfortable with the flow of blood returning to your toes. Keep your weight on your heels rather than forward on your toes as you press the pedals.
Why Do My Feet Go Numb On The Elliptical | Video Explanation
This Little Piggy
The elliptical machine keeps your feet in one position, which is why it is a low-impact workout. Unfortunately, this lack of movement can lead to numb fingers. Another way to reduce discomfort is to lift your foot slightly off the pedal and wiggle your toes. If lifting your foot slows the pace, move your toes inside the shoes to increase circulation to the tiniest of your little pigs.
Hi, I am Matt Storace and I am a former personal trainer and founder of Beast Biceps. We had to find ways to train at home. When I started looking for the equipment I needed, I quickly realized that there were no good resources online. So I created Beast Biceps. It is a treasure trove of information developed from my experience and research. Read More Here