Understanding Burning Foot Pain and its Treatment Options

Among the more common ailments prevalent today, the issue of burning foot pain ranks high on the list. However, most sufferers remain blissfully ignorant that this could be a cause for concern. Burning foot pain could arise from some nerve damage. Such nerve damage occurs in the leg and is medically referred to as neuropathy. There are many reasons besides this that could be a cause for such burning sensation. More often than not though, diabetes comes across as the culprit. The prime idea behind all treatments for such pain is related to controlling nerve damage as well as pain reduction.

Neuropathy occurs when the damaged fibers of nerves misfire or become overactive. These nerves signal the sensation of pain to the brain. Therefore, despite the absence of a cut or a wound, the sensation of pain occurs. Nerves in the leg tend to get affected first, in patients with neuropathy. There could be accompanying numbness or tingly sensations along with burning foot pain. Burning pain in the foot could also be accompanied by excess sensitivity to touch on the foot area. The pain could be intense or mild from time to time.

Burning sensation of the feet could also be linked to several other issues. A few of these include the following:

  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Uremia
  • AIDS
  • Amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lyme disease
  • Erythromelalgia
  • Drug side effects
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Metal poisoning
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Vasculitis

There could be infections on the feet or even inflammations that could lead to burning pain in the feet. Athlete’s foot is a very common fungal infection that causes such pain. Moreover, in case the blood circulation in your legs is poor, you may experience burning feet, pain, and tingling especially when you walk around.

Diagnosing the issue
Identifying the prime cause of such an issue is important. In case, you have been diagnosed and confirmed as a diabetic, then neuropathy is the reason for burning foot pain. However, in case the issue worsens rapidly and there seems to be no detected underlying cause, more intense testing will be needed. The most common tests relevant here are as follows:

  • Electromyography
  • Nerve conduction study
  • Blood, urine, or spinal fluid tests
  • Biopsy of nerves

Treatments for the issue
The basic goal of all neuropathy treatments is controlling future nerve damage. In a number of cases, once the underlying cause is sorted, the symptoms of neuropathy will gradually improve. There could be issues such as small fiber neuropathy, the underlying cause is not generally identified. In such cases, the main focus remains the overall improvement of symptoms.

For diabetic neuropathy, the level of blood sugar has to be kept in check. Oral medications, changes to diet, as well as using insulin injections are suggested for this problem.

Burning foot-related treatments comprise of treatments to treat pain as well as check abnormal sensation due to neuropathy. The common medications prescribed for burning feet are:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Carbamazepine
  • Desipramine
  • Duloxetine
  • Gabapentin
  • Pregabalin
  • Topiramate
  • Venlafaxine

What does the doctor do?
In order to diagnose the issue, your general practitioner would ask you few usual questions as well as take note of your medical history. Using X-rays and add-on tests, few other diseases such as tissue masses or injuries will be ruled out at the beginning. Samples of your skin too might be tested to rule out possibilities of skin issues. You could be later referred to a neurologist, rheumatologist, or even an endocrinologist, depending on the underlying cause of the pain.

You could try following these tips to prevent burning foot pain:

  • Wear proper footwear
  • Wear cotton socks to control sweating
  • Add orthotics to shoes
  • Bathe feet in cool water
  • Use cooling creams
  • Enhance consumption of Vitamin B
  • Ensure resting the foot
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Keep your foot at elevated level while resting

When to consult a doctor?
Never ignore the problem of having burning pain in your foot. You will have to get in touch to detect what the underlying issue behind the problem is. Remember that this is not a normal thing and only a medical professional will be able to detect the reasons and treat the same. Never delay the visit since it could lead to further complications in the future. Immediate medical help could actually curb the possibilities of greater risks in the future.

Alternative treatments
Try acupuncture. Experienced acupuncturists help manage burning foot pain if you allow them the minimum number of sittings. Chinese medicine is also catching up as a treatment method. You could even try certain herbs and home remedies to manage pain better. Additionally, reflexology is also a good alternative.

Be sure to find the cause first and then pick a relevant treatment solution. Since your body is your responsibility, you should ensure to get timely treatment for burning foot pain.