11 June 2008 22:39
After walking a couple of miles I get a burning sensation in a couple of toes on one foot, which goes after 3-4 miles but is quite painful and annoying. Any ideas or solutions?
By LFTO Answers Team
We asked podiatrist Andrew Stanley of the Rebound Clinic for advice:
“It’s difficult to be specific without a proper examination - to diagnose accurately, we would need to know which toes are involved and if there are any other associated signs and symptoms and/or symptom sites. Here is an outline of the most common causes."
>>"Poor boot fit resulting in excessive compression of the toes and restricted blood flow and/or friction."
>>"Circulation problems, when for some reason there is a restriction in the blood flow to the toes. As you walk and increase work load, the tissues require more nutrients and need to expel waste products such as CO2 - the more you walk the greater the need for increased blood flow. If the flow is diminished, there can be a mild toxic build up which can lead to burning and pain in the extremities."
>>"Chilblains could be a possible diagnosis if the tingling is related to change in temperature but there would be associated lesions and itching."
>>"Mechanical trauma may be a cause if the foot is not working in a neutral way, so your toes are moving out of alignment and therefore experiencing increased trauma while walking, creating frictional/compressive stresses and leading to burning sensations. This can have a cumulative effect - the more you walk the more painful your toes become."
>>"Trauma to the nerves in the feet that supply the toes can produce a “Morton’s Neuroma” i.e. nerve entrapment and eventually enlargement of the nerve sheath. This is usually due to mechanical trauma from an unstable forefoot which results in the metatarsals “pinching” the nerve. Symptoms usually originate in the ball of the foot and generate forward to the toes causing burning, pain and/or numbness."
For an accurate diagnosis it is worth making an appointment with a podiatrist, who can check boot fit and prescribe custom-made orthotic insoles to correct any mechanical trauma or misalignment of the foot.