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What are the causes of burning and pain in the toes and feet?

Steaming and the pain in the toes and feet can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical conditions and lifestyle issues. Burning pain requires consultation with various specialists - neurologist, endocrinologist, orthopedist or even rheumatologist. In some cases, such as peripheral artery disease, a vascular surgeon is required. If you do not know which specialist to turn to, look for your personal doctor first. It is important to describe in detail when and how the discomfort occurs, how long the symptoms last and what exactly they are.

The most common diseases associated with burning and pain in the foot

Neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy is a common cause of burning pain in the foot and toes. This happens when there is damage to the nerves that transmit signals between the brain and the limbs. Diabetes is a common underlying cause of neuropathy, but it can also result from other medical conditions, such as alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, or certain medications. The right specialist is a neurologist.

Tight or ill-fitting shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight or ill-fitting can cause pressure and friction on the feet, leading to discomfort and pain. The high heels, in particular, can contribute to pain in the toes and forefoot. The right specialist is an orthopedist or physiotherapist.

Plantar fasciitis: This condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It often causes a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The right specialist is an orthopedist or physiotherapist.

The gout is a type of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. This can lead to severe pain and inflammation of the big toe, which is known as gout. You can consult an endocrinologist, cardiologist or rheumatologist.

Circulation disorders and infections

Peripheral artery disease (PAD): PAB is a circulatory disorder that leads to reduced blood flow to the extremities. Symptoms may include pain, cramping, and burning in the legs and feet, especially during physical activity. Look for a vascular surgeon.

Ingrown nails: When a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, it can cause pain, redness and inflammation, leading to a burning sensation in the affected toe. An orthopedist or an experienced podiatrist will help.

Morton's neuroma: This condition involves a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, which can cause a burning or sharp pain in the ball of the foot. Your doctor in this case is a neurologist.

Infections: Fungal infections such as athlete's foot and bacterial infections can lead to discomfort and a burning sensation in the feet. You will get help from a dermatologist. Skin changes are usually noticed - redness, scaling, thickening, etc. Toenails may also be affected.

Injuries: Trauma, such as sprains, strains or leg fractures or toes, can cause pain and discomfort. Look for an orthopedist!

Circulation problems: Poor circulation, often associated with conditions such as Raynaud's disease, can cause cold, numb, and painful toes and feet. Here the right doctor is a vascular surgeon.

Autoimmune conditions: These could be conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. They often cause joint inflammation and pain in the feet and toes. These diseases are diagnosed by different specialists - rheumatologist in the first place, but also kidney specialists (nephrologists for example).

Compression of a nerve: Conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but in the ankle, can result in nerve compression and leg pain. An orthopedist will help.

Treatment of burning and pain in the feet according to the root cause

Before starting any treatment, you should try to clarify the root cause of the complaints. Only if the specific cause of the burning and pain in the toes and feet is determined can you receive appropriate therapy.

The doctor will diagnose the condition using different approaches – physical examination, medical history and various imaging studies, diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies. Remember that there can be an intertwining of provocateurs for complaints such as burning and pain in the toes and in the entire foot.

Treatment options are oriented toward the underlying cause. These may include medications, physical therapy, orthopedic devices, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

Author Ina Dimitrova

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