Burning Feet: When Your Nerves Misfire

Maybe it wakes you up at night, or keeps you sitting during the day—that nagging, burning sensation in your feet. Sometimes it feels more like pins poking you, as if your foot had gone to sleep and is now waking up again. In either case, for many people the discomfort these sensations cause can be almost unbearable.

Feet on Fire

That burning feeling in your feet is typically a sign of nerve damage. When damage to your nerves occurs, it tends to affect the extremities first—so quite often you feel the pain in your feet before it appears other places. The burning or pokey, pins-and-needles feeling is caused by the compromised nerves misfiring and sending faulty information back to your brain.

Many different conditions can injure nervous tissue. The most common cause is diabetes. Fluctuating sugar levels wreak havoc on your body’s internal structures and can ruin the nerves in your feet. Other conditions can have a similar effect, too, particularly alcoholism, chronic kidney failure, HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy treatments, and vitamin deficiencies. Whatever the cause, the pain can interrupt your life and decrease your mobility.

Cooling the Burn

It is important to have your discomfort addressed immediately. Since the sensation is a sign of tissue deterioration, you need to contact the specialists at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle right away to have the condition evaluated. Allowing it to go untreated simply means the source of your pain has an opportunity to get worse—and depending on the cause, it can have dire, or even deadly, consequences for your body.

How you relieve your pain depends on the source and its severity. Once the podiatrists at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle have a better idea of what causes your discomfort, they can help you develop a plan to reduce—and even eliminate—your burning feet. Typically this involves addressing and treating the source. You may need prescription medication or a plan to manage whatever is causing the damage to your nerves. When that is under better control, often the discomfort improves.

Adjusting your socks and shoes could also have a positive effect on your feet. Use properly fitted footwear and socks that allow the feet to breathe. You may need orthotic inserts to add extra cushioning or stabilization as well. Sometimes cooling your feet can help counteract the burning feeling, so cool (but not cold) water or ointment may help. Certain B vitamins boost the nervous system, so you may want to add some supplements to your diet. Resting and elevating your feet when you can decreases the pressure on them and relieves pain as well.

Whatever the cause of your burning feet, don’t ignore the sensation. Treating the source and addressing the symptoms as soon as possible gives your body a better chance to deal with the damage and prevent it from getting worse. If your life is being interrupted by chronic nerve pain, contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information today and deal with your problem. You can reach our office in Berkley by visiting the website’s contact page, or by calling (248) 545-0100.