There are many who experience a burning sensation on their feet and have been heard complaining that their feet are on fire.
Causes of burning sensation in feet
There are many reasons for experiencing this sensation, which can even be painful for many. Often it is due to a nerve damage, or neuropathy, caused by diabetes. In many people with neuropathy, the nerves of the legs are the first to become damaged. These nerves become hyperactive and sensitive to touch; they send pain signals to the brain even in the absence of a wound.
The burning sensation on the feet can range from mild to the point of disabling the person from carrying out normal activities. In addition to pain, some people experience a tingling sensation and numbness too!
Some Medical Conditions cause burning feet
Although diabetes and alcohol abuse are the most common causes of leg neuropathy, several other medical conditions have been known to cause the same. These include kidney diseases, vitamin deficiency and hypothyroidism, among several others.
Infections and inflammations of the feet are also known to cause neuropathy. Some people experience burning sensation on their feet a few weeks after a bariatric surgery. This could be a result of mal absorption of vitamin B after a gastric bypass.
Diagnostic tests for Burning Feet
In most patients, additional testing is not required to diagnose burning feet caused by neuropathy. In some, however, the causative factors may not be clear. In such cases further diagnostic tests, such as electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction test, or even a nerve biopsy might be required.
Treatment of Burning feet
Once diagnosed, the focus of treatment would be to stop further damage to the nerves. In many cases, treating the underlying disease or addressing the symptoms is likely to control the burning sensation. For example, in those with diabetic neuropathy, controlling blood sugars through medications and lifestyle changes is likely to relieve the burning sensation. Alcoholics must stop drinking alcohol, while those with hypothyroidism or vitamin 12 deficiencies are required to take thyroxin hormones and vitamin B12 supplements, respectively, to alleviate the burning sensation.
Some individuals may require pain medications to improve the pain. Some others with infections, such as athlete’s foot, may need anti –fungal or other medications to counter infections and control burning feet sensation. Some of these medications are even available over the counter.
Also Read: What is a Diabetic Foot and how can it be treated?
Home Remedies for Burning feet
In some, the burning sensation is a chronic condition. Such individuals could benefit from home remedies to douche the fire on their feet.
One of the best home remedy, which can be repeated many times a day, is to soak your feet for a few minutes in a foot tub filled with cold water. It may also be a good idea to soak your feet once a day in water to which a cup of Epsom salt has been added. These are quick and effective ways to provide instant relief and soothe your burning feet.
However, care must be taken to see that your feet are not soaked for more than a few minutes as this can worsen symptoms. Care must also be taken to avoid the direct use of ice cubes or ice pack on the affected feet. Those with diabetes or heart problems must consult a doctor before using Epsom salt or trying out other home remedies.