Burning Feet Syndrome (BFS) is quite a common foot complaint and it can occur as an isolated issue or as a symptom of another condition.
We are going to look at the causes of burning feet syndrome and the best ways to treat it.
What causes burning feet syndrome?
What is burning feet syndrome? It is the sensation that one or both feet are burning hot and can be accompanied by tingling plus other symptoms too.
Common symptoms include:
- Sensations of heat or burning, often worsening at night
- Red skin around the foot
- Numbness in the feet or legs
- Sharp or stabbing pains
- Dull aches in the feet
- Tingling or a “pins and needles” sensation
Causes of burning feet can include lifestyle, dietary, or medical reasons.
These are the 12 most common causes of burning feet:
1. Neuromas (Morton's neuroma)
Morton's neuroma is a painful condition affecting toes and feet and refers to thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes.
It tends to happen in response to irritation, injury, or pressure to one of the nerves that lead to your toes (this could be caused by playing sports, wearing heels, or if you simply have a foot shape that is susceptible to foot issues).
2. Corns & Callus
A build-up of skin in the form of corns and callus can lead to painful burning symptoms. The corns and callus develop to protect us from the trauma but in some cases the build-up of skin can cause pain which is relieved when the callus and corn has been removed.
3. Capsulitis or inflammation in the metatarsal heads
This can occur due to unsupportive footwear, foot type or repetitive stress from exercise or standing. Fluid builds up in the toe joints and can lead to extreme pain and inflammation.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetes patients often experience tingling, numbness, or burning pains in the legs and feet -usually more noticeable in bed at night.
5. Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by prolonged walking, running, or standing and is a result of nerve damage to the posterior tibial tendon nerve that branches off of the sciatic nerve and travels inside the lower leg and ankle. When we overuse the muscles around the tibial nerve or compress it, this can lead to burning pain and swelling in the area.
6. Athlete’s foot
Also known as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection usually causing itchy blisters on the feet, cracking and peeling skin between the toes or on the soles of the feet, or dry skin on the sides or soles of the feet.
7. Wearing high heels
Long periods of time wearing high heels can put increased pressure under the ball of the foot for extended periods, leading to overuse, pain, swelling and injury.
8. Heavy alcohol use
Chronic and heavy alcohol use can damage to the body’s nerves and lead to all manner of health issues, including BFS.
9. Kidney disease
Kidney diseases can cause toxins to build up in your blood which can then lead to swelling and itching of the feet.
The same drugs used to kill cancer cells can have other side effects, including peripheral neuropathy which then often leads to pain or tingling in the feet.
11. Contact dermatitis
All kinds of skin irritation can occur from contact with chemical agents such as dyes, and sometimes BFS is caused by a simple case of dermatitis.
Sometimes, it’s just hereditary. Gene mutations can lead to someone being more prone to BFS.
How to treat burning feet
Here are several proven ways to treat burning feet syndrome, so you can get relief from this common foot complaint.
- Dry needling. Dry needling can offer some relief from BFS by reducing the tightness in the foot and calf caused by plantar fasciitis. This treatment can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from the burning foot sensation.
- Joint mobilisation. Foot mobilisation techniques (FMT) involve manual therapeutic methods to treat musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and leg. You can speak to your chiropractor, podiatrist, or osteopath to find out if the treatment may help you.
- Laser therapy. Laser therapy is a popular treatment as it is non-invasive yet highly effective and can help treat chronic heel and foot pain.
- Massage. Massage can help improve blood flow and circulation. You can massage your feet yourself or seek a professional massage from a podiatrist.
- Foot support. Synxsole Everyday Insoles can help to reduce strain and pressure around the structures of the foot and ankle which in turn can help to reduce compression of nerves and tissue and reduce burning symptoms.
- Epsom salts. The natural compound in Epsom salts contains magnesium sulphate which does seem to offer some relief from inflammation. Typically, you put some Epsom salt into warm water, before soaking feet in the mixture for 20–30 minutes. Just a note that anyone with diabetes should check with their doctor before using an Epsom salt bath.
- Doctor examination. It is always recommended to seek professional medical advice if the burning feet you are experiencing is for a prolonged period of time. You can either see your GP or a qualified podiatrist and ask for an examination and consult to determine the cause of your BFS, and then seek the best treatments tailored for you.
What SynxBody products will assist?
Looking for help to manage or prevent Burning Feet Syndrome? At SynxBody we stock a variety of effective footcare products that may assist in relieving burning feet symptoms.
Our Synxsole Everyday Insole for Adults aligns your body and supports your feet and lower limbs reducing pressure under the arch and ball of the foot which helps to alleviate burning symptoms.
Synxplus Foot and Ankle Sleeves may also provide some relief by providing compression to the foot, resulting in reduced inflammation and therefore improving circulation to the area whilst also promoting healing.
Our Synxgeli Gel Forefoot Cushions can provide cushioning under the ball of the foot and help to elevate the metatarsal heads, reducing pain and pressure in this area.
You may also like to try our Synxgeli Toe Crests which elevate the toes and relieve any pressure under the tips of the toes reducing burning pain symptoms.
For a list of all our products, visit our SynxBody website.