If your feet are burning, it does not necessarily mean that you have neuropathy. There are other causes and reasons for your feet to burn.
One such cause is called Grierson-Gopalan syndrome, also known as burning feet syndrome. The burning sensation is usually limited to the soles of the feet, but may spread to the tops of the ankles. Typically the arms and palms of the hands are not affected.
The conditions consists of severe burning and aching of the feet, hyperaesthesia, pain, elevated skin temperature, and vasomotor changes of the feet, including excessive sweating and general body washing. Some patients will complain of pins and needles or tingling in the lower extremities. Symptoms usually worsen at night and improve during the day.
Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most commonly affected and the syndrome can occur because of hereditary or mechanical factors. Mechanical factors may be due to mechanical compression of the peripheral nerves, like the tarsal tunnel, and in diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. This condition has been related to psychosomatic causes, vitamin B deficiencies, renal failure, and hypothyroidism. Nerve entrapment because of sciatic monoeuropathy and spinal arteriovenous malformation can also cause burning feet. Patients with psychiatric disorders may have a myriad of signs and symptoms in association with burning feet.
On the outside, it may appear there is no underlying problem. The overlying skin and blood vessels look normal, but some patients exhibit erythema of the feet with warm overlying skin as in erythromelalgia. No tenderness in the area is usually felt.
If Grierson-Gopalan syndrome is caused by a disease, like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or psychosomatic, measures specific to the disease will be taken.
Generally, treatment includes wearing open and comfortable shoes, especially those with arch supports. Wearing cotton socks is also recommended. Soaking the feet daily in cold water for 15 minutes can bring temporary symptomatic relief. You should avoid exposing your feet to the heat. Certain creams and vitamin B supplements can also be helpful in reducing the burning sensation.
In cases where it is a mechanical failure, arch supports and wider shoes may relieve discomfort. If the underlying cause is flat feet, orthotics will help restore the foot arch.
Reference: Dr. Foot.
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