Burning Feet Syndrome Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Burning feet syndrome is a painful condition that worsens at night. Your feet are hot to touch and keep one awake all night. Elderly people experience burning feet the most. It affects the soles and if ignored spreads on top of the feet and ankles.

The patients that visit podiatrist Irvine facility for treatment of burning feet syndrome are not just elderly but even healthy people can experience the symptoms.

Burning feet symptoms

  • When you touch the soles and sides of the feet it feels hot.
  • You can feel the sensation of pins & needles or tingling, which makes one feel uncomfortable.
  • Stabbing pain occasionally shoots up.
  • Feet feel tired and heavy at night.
  • Pain & burning gets worse at night.

Burning feet symptoms can occur due to multiple reasons. The key to managing burning feet sensation is to resolve the root cause.

Major causes of burning feet syndrome

Improper foot posture

Foot posture defines how your feet absorb the pressure and force every time it takes a step. Ideally, your weight is distributed evenly while walking. Certain types of the foot can subject you to put pressure a lot on a specific area causing hot spots. It produces redness, heat, and burning.

For example, high arched foot. It has less contact with the ground, so weight distribution is focused on the heel and football. Even if there is a 6mm difference in the length of legs, this disproportion can place more weight on one.

Medical conditions or other foot disorders like a callus, corns, warts, and significant joint swelling can apply more pressure while walking. This increases the possibility of triggering burning feet syndrome.

Peripheral Neuropathy

The nerves from the spines to the peripheries of feet and hands are damaged causing the condition of peripheral neuropathy. The pathway from the spine to the feet is long and damage at any single point across the track generates neural symptoms in the feet like tingling, numbness, and burning.

The common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. It is because uncontrolled and elevated blood sugar levels for a prolonged time have damaged the nerves. Their walls are weakened and the signal transmission is dulled, which creates lots of change in the feet’ sensation. The effects start gradually and over time it worsens.

Besides diabetes, peripheral neuropathy is caused by autoimmune diseases, as well as can be a side effect of hereditary diseases, chemotherapy, chemical exposure, infections, and more. People who abuse alcohol or are malnourished can also experience peripheral neuropathy.

Morton’s Neuroma

When there is an inflammation in the nerve lining at some point in the foot, a swollen lump arises, which is too painful. It is often visible between the 3rd and 4th or 2nd and 3rd toes. When the swelling compresses it aggravates the nerve, which reveals multiple neural symptoms including foot burning sensation.

When you wear tight, narrow footwear the burning sensation and pain worsen because the bones are squeezed close and this aggravates the nerve. At Irvine Podiatrist foot care center, patients are relieved from inflamed nerve lining pressure through proper treatment.

Nerve Compression

A tarsal tunnel is a small tunnel inside the ankle, which offers a pathway to multiple tendons, nerves, arteries, and veins. It even includes the posterior tibial nerve that branches to innervate your foot.

When the structures in the tarsal tunnel along with the posterior tibial nerve compress, neural symptoms are caused including a burning sensation. The causes of nerve compression [entrapment] are due to –

  • Unsupported flat feet narrow the tunnel’s available space.
  • A spur, swollen tendon, or cyst in the tunnel occupies space and compresses a nerve.
  • Injury around your ankle where tunnel structure is affected due to swelling.
  • Other inflammatory issues or conditions can compress tunnel nerves.

The podiatrist recommends orthotics to open up and widen the tarsal tunnel space. Giving the nerve more space inside the tunnel helps to reduce compression and offer relief.

Athlete’s foot

Fungal infection impacts the skin’s outer layer causing skin peeling due to dryness, redness, itching, and burning. The appearance is damaged and irritated skin. The specific burning sensation on the foot sole and between toes can be temporary.

The fungal bacteria feed on skin protein called keratin, so this triggers the burning feeling. The Orange County Podiatrist prescribes an anti-fungal medication with home-care protocols to beat athlete’s foot infection.

Traumatic nerve damage

Traumatic injuries can damage not just the muscle, tendons, and ligaments but even nerves. When nerves are damaged it sparks an array of neural symptoms. The trauma can be a direct impact on the leg or foot or on the upper body part like the spine from where the nerves originate.

Other causes

Vitamin deficiencies, renal failure, alcoholism, chronic regional pain syndrome, hypothyroidism, hereditary disorders and can be idiopathic or unknown causes.

How is burning foot syndrome treated?

The podiatrist recommends lab tests or electromyography or nerve conduction study to diagnose the root cause of the burning foot sensation.

The treatment prescribed can include –

  • Pain medications
  • Prescribed medications that impact the neurotransmitter of your body.
  • Topical
  • Customized orthotics or footpads
  • Self-care instructions

If an underlying condition is triggering the burning feet issue then it is essential to get the right diagnosis. A reliable and established podiatrist can help your feet stay healthy!


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