Burning feet is a common disorder. It can appear as an isolated problem or as a symptom of another medical condition.
Doctors call the feeling of burning in the feet or the syndrome of burning feet in the lower leg (BFS).
BFS often causes feet to become uncomfortably hot and painful. Symptoms of BFS can be mild or severe depending on the cause.
BFS is common in older adults and can get more intense at night.
FSO affects not only the soles of the feet, but also the tips of the feet, ankles and lower legs.
Diabetes is a common cause of burning feet. However, BFS is also a symptom of a number of other medical conditions.
This article looks at the causes of BFS and 9 home remedies to treat it.
Peripheral neuropathy, commonly known as nerve damage, is a common cause of BFS. However, nerve damage itself often results from another disease.
Conditions that can cause nerve damage and BFS include:
Diabetes can cause high blood sugar levels. Persistently high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves. The name for this type of nerve damage is diabetic neuropathy.
Up to 50% of the people with diabetes have or at some point will have diabetic neuropathy. One of the main symptoms of diabetic neuropathy is BFS.
Sensory Small Fiber Neuropathy (SFSN)
This condition causes pain and discomfort in the feet and hands.
SFSN leads to damage to the small sensory skin nerves. These nerves provide sensory feedback between the skin and the brain.
SFSN is often associated with diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism.
Symptoms of SFSN lock in a cold-like pain, tingling sensation, or pins and needles.
Heavy consumption of alcohol
Chronic alcohol consumption can cause alcoholic neuropathy, which damages nerves in the body. It is one of the most common Symptoms of heavy drinking.
The damaged nerves can cause a person to develop BFS.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) damages the peripheral nerves.
Symptoms usually begin in the feet and lower legs. Symptoms include BFS, weakness in the muscles of the feet and lower legs, foot deformities, and difficulty lifting the foot while walking.
CMT is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders in the United States.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Symptoms of CRPS include BFS, stiff joints, wasting or excessive bone growth, changes in the texture of the skin, and swelling of the affected limb.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs as a result of compression and damage to the nerve that runs along the inside of the ankle and foot.
It can cause your feet to tingle or burn.
Other causes of BFS
Other causes of BFS that are not related to nerve damage include:
Treatment for BFS depends on the underlying cause. A doctor can treat BFS as follows:
- Antifungal prescription
- Shoe insoles or change of shoes
- vitamin additions
- Thyroid supplements
- electrical nerve stimulation
- Magnetic Therapy
- Laser or light therapy
There are also a number of home remedies for BFS that a person can try. Here are 9 that can help:
1. Soak feet in cold water or an ice bath
Soak your feet in cold water can help relieve symptoms of BFS temporarily.
However, a person suffering from erythromelalgia should avoid doing this as it can damage their skin.
2. Rest, Ice, Compression and Altitude (RICE)
A person can help reduce symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome by using RICE. This includes resting the foot, applying ice to the ankle, using compression, and lifting the foot.
RICE can help reduce swelling and inflammation, which can help reduce symptoms of BFS.
3. Epsom salts
People use often Epsom salt Treat a variety of problems, including pain and athlete’s foot symptoms.
Epsom salt is a natural compound that contains magnesium Sulfate. It has a number of uses including:
- Reducing the symptoms of athlete’s foot
- Reduce inflammation
- Peeling the skin
- Odor reduction
- Relief from constipation
People put Epsom salts in warm water before soaking their feet in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.
Epsom salt foot baths can treat symptoms of BFS. However, a person with diabetes should check with their doctor before using an Epsom salt bath. This is because Epsom salts can increase the risk of foot damage in people with diabetes.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can fight bacteria, fungi, and other harmful microbes.
Soaking your feet in a foot bath made of warm water and apple cider vinegar can be an effective way to treat athlete’s foot. There are, however no scientific evidence to prove how effective this treatment can be.
5. Turmeric Supplements
Curcumin is also a effective treatment for a wide variety of neurological disorders.
A person may be able to use turmeric supplements to treat BFS, which is related to damaged nerves and other nerve pain. A person can take turmeric in supplement form, or they can take 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper up to three times a day.
One 2013 study suggests that a person who takes curcumin in the early stages of neuropathy may have beneficial effects. The study says curcumin can help prevent chronic neuropathy from developing.
6. Fish oil
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful in reducing pain and discomfort. If a person has BFS due to diabetes, they may want to treat their BFS with fish oil.
One Study 2018 suggests that fish oil can slow down progression and even reverse diabetic neuropathy.
Fish oil supplements are available over the counter. A person can ingest between 2,400 and 5,400 mg of fish oil per day.
Ginger oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can be an effective treatment for BTS.
ON Study 2014 showed that Swedish massage with aromatic ginger oil was more effective than traditional Thai massage in reducing back pain and disabilities.
Many ginger oils are available OTC.
A 2020 study of mice studied the use of ginger extract. It suggests that ginger extract can be an effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy.
However, determining the effectiveness of ginger for specifically treating BFS and neuropathic pain requires further research.
8. Lidocaine or capsaicin
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic. Medical professionals often used Lidocaine, to numb the skin before certain procedures, such as blood collection, are performed.
Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and provides natural pain relief. One 2011 study showed that capsaicin is effective in treating pain.
Some health professionals suggest topical creams that contain capsaicin and lidocaine patches effective treatments for the symptoms of diabetic neuropathic pain. They are both common treatments for BFS in people with diabetes.
However, there is little evidence for their use.
Topical lidocaine is also one common treatment for pain associated with SFSN in both patch and gel form.
9. Foot massage
massage increases Blood flow to an area of the body. Therefore, if a person suffers from BFS, they can massage their feet to improve blood flow and blood flow to the areas where it is needed. This can help manage some of the symptoms of BFS.
One 2015 study showed that Thai foot massage helped people with diabetic neuropathy improve their balance, range of motion in their foot, and feel.
Burning feet syndrome is the name given to the common feeling of burning or tingling feet. BFS causes a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, athlete’s foot, and heavy alcohol use.
There are a number of home remedies a person can try to manage the symptoms of BFS. These include cold water baths, Epsom salts, turmeric supplements, and fish oil.