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Burning sensation on middle 3 toes

About 2 weeks ago I started feeling this mild burning sensation on the top of my left foot that centered around the middle 3 toes. I was driving at the time and thought that the heater was on or that I spilled something on it. I actually looked at my foot and then checked that the heater wasn't on (it wasn't). It was just a fleeting sensation lasting a few seconds and then went away. It wasn't until the next day that I felt it again on the left foot in the same spot, and I was driving again. So again I checked to make sure the heater wasn't on (and it wasn't).


Over the last 4-5 days it has increased in frequency (but not intensity) to multiple times in a day. It is not a painful burning but enough that it is noticable. And it can happen any time of day and in any situation (lying down, sitting, standing, walking). And it always last just a few seconds. I work with physical therapists and asked one about it the other day. He felt my foot and could not palpate a lump or neuroma. He suggested I try to avoid crossing my legs or sitting on my foot to see if maybe I was pinching off a nerve in my foot. But changing this has not changed the sensation.

I have no other complaints other than this burning. No numbness or tingling, no pain, no rashes, no lumps...everything else is fine. I will note that I just had laser vein surgery on my left leg 3 days ago but the burning sensation began at least a week before the surgery. And there have been no changes in my leg veins or pain (which was none) just prior to surgery that would possibly cause these symptoms. The burning was the same before as it is after.

I do run about 2-4 times per week and participate in Zumba dance classes 1x/week. I'm 30 years old and have had 1 child. I spend a mild-moderate amount of time on my feet and wear tennis shoes to work daily. I am otherwise healthy with a BMI of 25, low blood sugars (at least the last time I checked it), and good blood pressure (107/70 about 4-5 days ago). No major medical or health issues.

I have done some looking around online and have found many possible reasons why I may have this burning sensation. Various diagnoses, such as diabetic neuropathy, neuroma, and MS. I guess I just need to know, based on my symptoms, should I just wait it out a little longer and see if it gets better, or should I go to a doctor to get it looked at further. Seeing some of the potential causes has got me a little anxious that it may be something more serious.

Thanks,
Amanda

Hi Amanda,
Usually burning type pain in a confined area is not diabetic neuropathy and "may" be nothing more than a local nerve irritation. Probably not a neuroma because the pain is not on the ball of the foot.
You can wait a couple of weeks and see if it subsides, but if you are concerned about it, have a podiatrist take a look at it just to confirm that it is nothing serious.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Burning sensation on middle 3 toes

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Jan 06, 2018
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Toes burning
by: Osla

Me too I’m having the same pain, on my left foot my last three toes burns and the ball of my foot,when I walk and on my feet for a long time,I have also tried wide shoes and it still hurts,don’t know what to do, I remove my shoes and the pain slowly goes away.
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Sounds like a classic Morton's neuroma. Why not consult with a foot specialist?

Marc Mitnick DPM

Dec 08, 2017
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Burning sensation on middle 3 toes LEFT foot
by: KellyGAL522

Me too!!! Seems so bizarre that most folks are experiencing this on left foot. I have same issue. It is less painful if i wear open toe shoes. I also notice that when i wear shoes with narrow toe box my toes feel like the tendons are grinding and sliding over each other. Very awkward and painful. My pain seems to have migrated from great toe and 2nd toe to now the 2nd and 3rd toe. Seems so many of us are experiencing the same thing. I dont have diabetes... but it. Does feel like a neuropathy of sorts. Someone mentioned symptom of MS?? Really? Never even thought of that. Please tell me no.

Nov 10, 2017
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Chilblains
by: Steve

Much of this toe pain and burning is the result of chilblains, caused by rapid heating and cooling of the blood vessels, which then leak blood into the toes, resulting in the redness and swelling. Suggestions include keeping feet evenly warm and dry, use wool socks, soak feet in Aveeno oatmeal, avoid tight shoes, especially don't let the toe box rub on top of your toes. This only applies to those living in cold winter climates, however, usually from November through March.

Oct 24, 2017
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Burning toes
by: Margie

I have burning on my 3 middle toes. My doctor said it was arthritis.
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burning is more suggestive of neuroma in that area of the foot. If your doctor is not a foot specialist, then I suggest making an appointment with a specialist.

Marc Mitnick DPM

May 23, 2017
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Burns Here Too
by: Tom B

Yup. Have same thing. Burning pain in the second and third in from the "pinkie" and only on one foot. Could be any number of things as my poor left foot has been "under attack" over the years. First ten years ago with a diagnosis of Morton's Neuroma, and not yet corrected, but this is in a different area, the toes, not the ball of the foot. Next, two winters ago I turned my ankle sliding on a block of ice outside my doorway. That, I've googled as neuronal tendinitis as the pain is in the side of my foot under the ankle bone. And finally, about a year ago I stepped on my dog's bone while descending the stairs in my home and my foot (in just a sock) slid forward as I rolled the three small toes under it. This caused great pain (initially and for a week or so afterward) and turned the toes black and blue. Had no problem since until a week or so ago and every day the pain builds in intensity throughout the day, especially the longer I'm on my feet. Sooo, with this time the pain outweighing the option of just ignoring the issue, I will have to be seen by a specialist. And if I can remember to, I'll come back with the diagnosis and outcome. Good luck to all!

May 11, 2017
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Burns like a SOB
by: Michael

I have this. Intense burning on the top of my left second/long toe.

So far all I can tell you is it's not "athletes foot"
Fungus and seems very specific to the top of the one toe.

Wow 37 previous comments by people over 7 years and no explanations. Where the foot pain explained?

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Why not visit a local doctor who can actually examine your foot and give you an exact answer, any thing less is just conjecture.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 06, 2017
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Burning pain in toes
by: sue

For about 6 months, i have been awakened once or twice a week by an intense burning pain in the 3 middle toes of my right foot. It comes on suddenly - always when I'm sleeping - burns intensely for maybe 30 seconds, and then slowly goes away. These toes are now always very slightly sore,barely noticeable.It is definitely not a footwear problem - I wear only comfortable low-heeled shoes or go barefoot, and I make sure my shoes fit well. My feet are very healthy - no corns, calluses,blisters, etc. I am 77 years old and have osteoarthritis, possible fibromyalgia ( doctor not sure ).BUT - I take a blood thinner and a couple of blood pressure drugs. I have done a lot of research on these drugs and have discovered that I have several side effects from them. I am beginning to believe that this toe pain is another side effect. Any opinions?

Feb 26, 2017
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Burning toe
by: Pamela

Hi
I have had back issues L5 si and have pt 3 x a week. I've had ingrown toe surgery 2 x and thought it was from that or dry callas toe. Seen 2 foot Dr's and a dermatologist who put me on steroid cream for 3 wks. Didn't help
I'm on celebrex and Tramadol for back pain. Does not help the burning toe. Foot Dr wants me to start Gabapentin 300mg as she thinks it's nerve?
Any ideas?
Thanks
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Assuming there are no contraindications for you to take Gabapentin, it seems like a reasonable idea.
With a history of lower back pain there certainly is the possibility that your your burning toe is the result of a radiculopathy.
I do not know how old you are or your medical history, but just make sure the circulation going into your toe is fine, have your doctor check, as sometimes a burning toe may be a result of poor circulation.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Oct 28, 2016
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Same
by: Jason

Well I wonder if it could be to do with diet, it's only been happening to me since I started on protein n carb n creatine drinks , is anyone else on high protein shakes or similar?

May 07, 2016
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Cured
by: Anonymous

I had the same thing. It got worse and traveled up my left leg - I then realised it was an early sign of sciatica. I have learned to adjust my back and the pain disappeared in minutes.

Apr 26, 2016
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I went to a doctor
by: Anonymous

Its nerve damage. Well not badly damaged but if you run a lot and are on your feet you put pressure that when relieved in anyway sends the wrong signals and your toes burn. No I did these exercises and they work arching my back helps moving my feet allowing pressure to be relived but somewhere from your lower back to your knees there is a pinched nerve and relieving it is the only way to get that feeling to go away.

Mar 18, 2016
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Burning toes
by: Anonymous

The last six months I have had the burning sensation...left foot middle toe....only last a little while......feels like it is on fire. At least once a day it will do it.

Mar 02, 2016
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I'm not alone!
by: Anonymous

I have the exact same thing!! Right foot middle three toes, feels like they're burning on the tops. Crazy. I run three times a week and lift weights three times a week, taking Sundays off. Developed a few weeks ago. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone.

Feb 04, 2016
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Strangest thing I ever experienced
by: Anonymous

I started noticing a burning sensation to the toes on my right foot. The three middle toes. To barely touch them across the top feels as if I had placed them into a cigarette lighter. But unlike most that I read, when walking sometimes it feels as if all three toes were broken and being crushed together. Removing shoes helps a little but not much. It is very painful. Came out of the blue one day about a month ago. And just seems so weird. But the longer it goes on the more painful it becomes. I did have several back surgeries many years ago. But this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened to me. It just seems so strange that it would only effect three toes on a foot.

Jan 23, 2016
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Weird Burning sensations at the tip of toes and Fingers
by: Eye

What is it? For about 3 months I began to have the weird burning feeling at the tip of my toes and fingers. It doesn't hurt, but it's very annoyed and it comes and goes whenever it wants to. What is this?

Jan 22, 2016
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4toes on right foot burn
by: Sheila

My toes or feet are not hot.my 4toes burn when im on my feet to much. Right foot only,they hurt so bad i need to take off my shoe,boot,or sandle

Dec 18, 2015
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Burning sensation
by: Anonymous

I also have a burning sensation on top of my left foot toes.Doctor said it was the shoes I was wearing were too tight,but even when I am not wearing shoes all day the sensation is still there.I am a diabetic so maybe it has something to do with that

Nov 21, 2015
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pain in toes
by: Anonymous

I have the same pain...except mine is confined to my second toe on my left foot. The pain is continuous and so intense I cannot sleep and have to take pain medication.
I have had had back surgery for nerve compression and herniate disc's at L5/S1. I think this is more problems from that area as I currently have other disc's bulging and spinal stenosis. Definitely, nerve damage.

Oct 19, 2015
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Burning sensation big and middle toe.
by: William Larry Johnson Jr.

Once again I wanna thank you guys/gals for y'alls input. But are there any concrete diagnoses that I can take to my my Dr. If so you can reach me at WJ82271.wj(at)gmail.com. I like being able to tell my Dr.accurate info on my problems. So again thank You!

Oct 12, 2015
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Burning top toes
by: Anonymous

Intense burning on top of toes on right foot.. Had hammer toe operation years ago. Made mistake of wearing thong shoes this summer.. This is intermittent pain that goes away but comes back. Interesting to find so many have this. What are some solutions. I have rubbed Aspercreme on and helps for a bit,

Oct 11, 2015
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Burning sensation.
by: AnonymoustERE

I, like everybody else have the same burning sensation on the top my two inner toes to the right of my big toe on my right leg. Burns pretty strong on the top of my toes, but not the underside. It isn't a throbbing pain at all, it is just this burning sensation and very bothersome. It doesn't bother while sleeping, but I usually feel it at the end of the day when I am finally resting. No idea what it could be. I am looking for help understanding this problem. I hope that I can remember to mention it to my Rheumatologist at the next appointment.

Sep 20, 2015
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Me too
by: Betty

I have the same tingling/burning sensation on two toes of my left foot. Has been going on for two months or more. A few years ago I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy in both feet, but three years ago I had a severe case of shingles on the left side on my inner thigh. I'm wondering if it's nerve damage from that. Even though it's in a different place it's the same side as the shingles. I'm a healthy 65 year old female with better than normal bp and good sugar levels. I have high cholesterol, but is controlled very well with Crestor. Anyone else have this pain who has also had shingles (on the same side as the foot pain)? Just grasping for answers

Aug 10, 2015
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Toes on Left Foot Burning
by: Anonymous

I had L5/S1, L4, L3, disc removal and fusion surgery 6 weeks ago. While I have been doing Physical Therapy 3 days a week and I have been healing perfectly, about eight days ago I noticed a burning sensation across the tips of my toes, the the tops of my toes, and the top of my left foot. My PT believes that it is the compression of my L5 nerve root due to the swelling I am experiencing from my PT work and just the normal healing process my muscles are going through. I will confirm this when I see my neurologist in 3 days as well as what he recommends as far as treatment.

May 27, 2015
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burning pain on 2 left toes
by: Anonymous

It started as frozen toes on left foot.It's the second and third toes from the little one.I applied heat packs but since then it became painful like burning sensation.The intensity comes at night.I noticed that it had itchy sensation but it goes away. Only the pain is really bothering me on the tip of the toes.

May 15, 2015
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Same problem
by: Anonymous

I have the same thing. 3 middle toes left foot...random tingly burning sensation, nothing painful...just a little annoying. It came about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Hmmmm. Hopefully it goes away soon.

Mar 25, 2015
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Best answer I found on the web so far
by: Anonymous

I have a similar condition on my right foot. I know it is not caused by diabetes; however I do have problems with sciatica and have had some problems with a disc in my back so I am thinking it is nerve pain. Never been to a chiropractor but may be time to try one. This web page provided the best general info I found so far: http://foothealth.about.com/od/neuroma/a/Nerve-Problems-That-Cause-Foot-Pain.htm

Mar 16, 2015
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burning toe
by: Anonymous

surely someone has had this checked out where are the answers. this has been happening to me for about two weeks now, still not sure which toe 3rd or 4th or both, lasts a few seconds and goes away not painful can be once a day or 2 or 3 times, shoes or no shoes walking or sitting, i'll keep looking for an answer but will get it checked out i suppose if it gets worse

Mar 03, 2015
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The 3 Burning Toes
by: Anonymous

While taking a 5 hour drive today, my 3 inner toes on my right foot started to burn like hell on the top. I thought the heater was blowing on my shoe and heated up my toes. The burning was on for 3-4 minutes. Eventually, it got less and less. Still burns, though. I never had this happen before. I do think it is some type of nerve. I will wait to see if it goes away.

Feb 25, 2015
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Exact same problem!
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have just recently been experiencing the exact same problem you describing.. Left foot, middle three toes and a burning sensation that lasts a few seconds at a time. Initially thought it was a once off thing but after experiencing it on and off for about two weeks now I googled it and came across this page. I wonder what it could be? And hope it's nothing serious. I have got a plantar fasciitis problem on the same left foot and wonder if it could in any way be related to that as well?

Oct 31, 2014
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Three burning toes
by: Anonymous

I have the same symptoms, I do know I have a herniated S1 and L5 disc on left side and it is my left foot three toes that are numb or burning/stinging, so I suspect it is nerve damage.

Sep 07, 2014
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Burning around the toes.
by: Anonymous

In some cases not all it may be you have presure on a back nerve and it is pressing on a nerve that goes down your leg. It feels like burning but it's nerve tingling. Go to your doctor and check to see if you have a lower back problem. May be something small that a chiropractor can fix. Check your doctor first.

Nov 22, 2013
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Any suggestions
by: Virginia

I got this weird burning sensation on the top of my 3 inside toes on the right leg. The leg also feels sensitive to touch. I got up to walk a bit thinking it could be sitting so long in front of the computer and then had a pain in the knee on same leg.
I am feeling quiet concerned, do I need to see a doctor, I have never had this before.
I am 52 with hypertension and on hormone thearpy tablets.
I a generally healthly person.

Jan 30, 2013
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Burning sensation atop my three inside toes on right leg
by: Anonymous

I have been feeling the burning sensation on the top of my three middle toes of my right leg and that is what prompted me to see if I could find out anything about it. I feel better knowing that it isn't just in my mind and others have experienced the same thing. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and recently got diagnosed with Chron's Disease. I have been wondering if it might be that the sensation has something to do with my arthritis. Will ask on my next appointment with my rheumatologist.

Jan 30, 2013
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Burning sensation atop my three inside toes on right leg
by: Anonymous

I have been feeling the burning sensation on the top of my three middle toes of my right leg and that is what prompted me to see if I could find out anything about it. I feel better knowing that it isn't just in my mind and others have experienced the same thing. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and recently got diagnosed with Chron's Disease. I have been wondering if it might be that the sensation has something to do with my arthritis. Will ask on my next appointment with my rheumatologist.

Nov 27, 2012
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Zumba
by: Anonymous

I have the same thing and ironically I do Zumba several times a week. Maybe it is the common link.

Oct 09, 2012
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Toes
by: Janet

I have been having the same symptoms for about a month. The pain is not bad, just annoying.

Dec 21, 2011
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Intense burning in middle 3 toes
by: David

In the last 6 months, I have experienced intense burning in my RH middle 3 toes. This only happens when I have been wearing particular closed (but roomy) shoes for 5-6 hours and when I take them off, the burning continues for about 1 hour then goes away. Before going to a Podiatrist, I'm checking which of my shoes are causing this condition as it may be the lacing, internal seams, shape of the sole etc that may be pressing on a nerve. I've never had it with thongs or soft deck shoes so maybe I can home in on it and fix it myself by changing shoe types or give the information to a Podiatrist to assist.

Dec 11, 2011
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toe burning sensation
by: Anonymous

I HAVE THE SAME PAIN BUT ONLY THE 4 TH TOE AND ONLY WHEN IAM A SLEEP WAKES ME CAUSE IT FEELS LIKE MY TOE IS BURNTING AND ONLY THE TIP AND NOT ALL THE TIME

Dec 04, 2011
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Me too!
by: Anonymous

I've got the same sensation, one toe only. There is no physical dammage, the doctor had an Xray done for another reason. I can be sitting still or walking, but anything that touches that toe is painful. Luckily, the pain is not too bad - and it comes and goes, so I've done nothing about it. Has anyone discovered what this is?

Oct 22, 2011
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Burning in my 3 toes
by: Frances

I have Fibromyalgia,does anyone know if that can cause the burning feeling in my toes and I have severe pain in my feet almost all the time? Can Fibromyalgia get in your feet because for the past few years mine hurt worst?
Thanks

Jul 29, 2011
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my 3 little piggys
by: Anonymous

I have the same sensation. Wow Thanks

Jan 26, 2011
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I have the same thing
by: Anonymous

yes, i have the exact same thing with the same toes involved and the same burning type pain. I will go to a podiatrist, but at least I see I'm not the only one. Otherwise all foot pain on the internet doesn't seem to fit our description!!

Sep 09, 2010
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Hey Amanda
by: Anonymous

Hey Amanda. I just noticed last night I have this strange burning sensation in one of my toes and it has continued into today. The description of what I'm feeling matches yours exactly. I was just wondering if you ever got it checked out and if so, what was it? Thanks.
-Nick

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