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Why Do The Bottom Of My Feet Burn?

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Arianna Vaccaro Profile
Arianna Vaccaro answered
There is a condition called burning feet syndrome (also known as Grierson-Gopalan syndrome) that may be causing the bottom of your feet to burn.  The condition is more common in women and usually manifests itself between the ages of 20 and 40.

The burning is usually limited to the soles of the feet but it may extend up to the ankles and lower legs.  It can sometimes be accompanied by tingling in these areas.  The symptoms are usually worse at night.  Burning feet syndrome can be inherited or can be caused by pressure being put on the peripheral nerves.  There are also links with diseases such as hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis, and vitamin B deficiencies and renal failure.  Those with diabetes are particularly likely to experience the feeling of burning feet.

To relieve the symptoms, wear open and comfortable shoes, and cotton socks.  Arch supports are useful.  Soak the feet in cold water (don’t use ice) for around 15 minutes to bring temporary relief.  Avoid exposure to heat.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) can also cause a burning sensation of the bottom of the feet.  It is a compression syndrome of the tibial nerve within the tarsal tunnel.  The pain worsens and spreads after standing for long periods.  Common causes include varicose veins, trauma, neuropathy and space occupying anomalies within the tarsal tunnel.

Other causes of the bottom of the feet burning include mechanical overload (standing for too long, especially if overweight), heat and sweat, chronic alcoholism, heavy metal poisoning, blood disorders, athlete’s foot or a fungal infection, contact dermatitis and erythromelalgia (a rare circulatory disorder).

Get the problem checked out by your doctor to ensure that it is not caused by one of the rare serious problems.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If you are a diabetic often theses are signs that your blood sugar isn't controlled well and you have neuropathy; this has to do with the nerves in the feet; caused by the disease and may have occured over a long period of time. A side effect of being a diabetic. If you are not then it can be coming from a problem with your lower back in the lumbar region that effects the nerves that run to the bottom of your feet. Either way this can be calmed if not corrected. Best of luck
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The usual cause is sensory neuropathy which most commonly results from poorly controlled blood sugar in diabetes or vitamin B12 deficiency.  Pain has a very odd method of transmission.  Pain receptors are activated at the same time as touch receptors but the sensations of the touch receptors "null out" the pain sensations in the spinal cord by releasing morphine like neurotransmitters in the spinal cord.  Non pain sensations travel over faster neurons encased in an insulator-like substance called myelin, made by special 'glial' cells along the nerve.  So 'pain' is usually sensed when the pain fibers are activated more than the touch fibers.
These neuropathies are 'demyelinating', that is they damage the myelin and prevent sensory transmission.  That prevents the nulling out of pain.  Typically such a patient will first experience reduced feeling and then pain when the reduction gets great enough.  The pain fibers are not myelinated and survive much longer in these diseases.  We call this condition secondary hyperalgesia.  It compares similarly to 'primary hyperalgesia' where the pain receptors are more active by sunburn, etc.  
If you don't have the disease imagine waling around on sunburned feet all day.  Ouch!
The Physiology Professsor.

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