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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Burning pain in foot

09/10/2007

Question:

I have both RA and OA in my feet. Lately I have been getting this intense burning pain on the outside of my foot. From my little toes straight to my heal. I have had burning pain before but it is normaly felt on the inside of my foot. This time it also feels like it is on the out side and inside. It feels like someone has a flame to the side of my foot. I normaly put ice on it and that helps but nothing is helping this time. What might be causing the burming pain and what can I do to help with the burning?

Answer:

There are several potential reasons for this type of burning pain. Usually the basic reason for burning pain involves the nerves. This can be a result of low back nerve pressure, regional leg nerve pressure or pressure on one of the local foot nerves. It can also be a result of some viral diseases, like shingles, although this is generally accompanied by a characteristic rash that you did not describe in your question. Finally there are more serious conditions that affect nerves that can cause progressive symptoms that you also did not describe. If however, this pain has persisted or has recurred over time it requires an examination by a podiatrist or other foot care specialist to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe a course of care to address the issue.

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Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University