Nerve pain and altered sensation in the toes
There is a common nerve that runs between each of the metatarsals, which are the long bones leading to each of the toes in the foot. Compression and irritation of these nerves can cause pain and altered sensation in the toes, most commonly between the 3rd and 4th toes. If this continues the nerve itself becomes thicker and therefore even more prone to irritation.
Catching the condition early is important, although many cases seem basically unavoidable, and surgical intervention is often required to liberate the affected nerve. Footwear assessment and modification may help prevent this eventuality, as shoes with an overly tight toe box or increased heel height place people at increased risk.