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Burning foot pain. When to be concerned? Seek advice early.

At Spire Hospital our consulting service for foot pain extends to advice for GPs. Some pains are not always obvious but one, burning pain, may often be dismissed too readily. Burning pain should not happen in feet. If it does it should either be obvious – or it will start to nag. Causalgia is a term used and can be associated with neuralgic, or nerve pain.

When it happens check if you have just overdone it on the feet, or have walked too far. I have a pair of boots that if used too much can leave the soles hot and sore for a bit. I use these with care now for short periods working in the garden. If standing too long feet can also feel on fire. These symptoms are relative frequent.

When it is not good?

Pain that increases, has an electric like quality or leaves tingling can be associated with a range of concerns. Allied to colour changes and high sensitivity – seek help immediately. Go to education information sheet 12 or to Clinician Portal for information about complex regional pain. Simple localised burning pain may arise from pinched nerves, often called neuromas (neuromata). These respond well.

Where pain breaks sleep and tablets to relieve pain fails, then further enquiry is necessary. Recent or old back problems, sciatic pain, recent injury including nasty ankle sprains can provoke such pain. A condition in the foot called Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is both complex and can resist treatment. It is easy to diagnose and early management is always preferred.

Your consultant foot specialist will advise the right investigations following careful examination and guide your GP with a plan of recommendation. Fortunately burning pain is rare, but if left can become more troublesome. Burning pain is a big subject and there are many causes.



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