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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
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.
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
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center