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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

feet tingle and burn when i first walk on them in the morning

my feet tingle and burn when I first walk on them in the morning. and if I have been sitting for a long period of time I have to walk like I am crippled for a few seconds unitl I can walk regularly because my legs and feet are stiff. I ran a half marathon 4 years ago and have not ran since because when I run the pain is unbearable in my low back

The lower back would be the first place I would explore as the cause of your burning and tingling in your feet.
I suggest you consult with a neurologist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Sep 05, 2017
Foot Numbness after back surgery 11 months ago!
by: Hilda W.

Just want to know if anyone one else out there has experience the pain and numbness in feet after having major back surgery. They took the 4 and 5 and tied them into the went well..but have had problems with feet since the procedure. Will the nerves heal? Or am I stuck with this situation. Anyone have an answer.

Cannot give you any statistics, but I have seen a lot of this over the years. Not sure after 11 months if there is anything you can do about it, but perhaps a conversation with your surgeon would be indicated.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Numbness of 3rd & 4th toe on right foot

by Tania
(Sanger, CA)

About a week ago, I woke to numb toes on my right foot. It improved a bit during the day, but was back again the next morning. Now it seems to be almost constant.
The 3rd and 4th toe on the right foot seem to be the worst, but I'm starting to feel it on the 2nd toe and on the left foot a little bit also. Perhaps even a bit on the pad of my left foot.

I did phone my Dr. and he said I should not be too concerned, (I'm neck deep in wedding prep for my only child), but it is really starting to bother me. I'm wondering if I should be seen rather than wait until after the wedding as I'd planned. Since it's saturday, I can't talk with my Dr. until Monday.

Hi Tania,
Your symptoms are very suggestive of a Morton's neuroma (read my section on Mortons neuroma). If you are noticing the symptoms starting to worsen then you should consider some treatment, because the last thing you want to have happen is have a painful foot and not be able to dance at the wedding.
A simple cortisone shot or even oral anti-inflammatory medication may go a long way in reducing your symptoms and then once the wedding is over you can have follow up treatment if warranted.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Burning Pain Sensation Great Toe

by Beverly Marsh
(Hollywood, Florida, USA)

I had back surgery in October 2008, at L4-5 and on November 4, 2008, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and broke my left ankle.

I am still taking pain medication for the back surgery, and a few weeks ago I awoke with a sensation of burning pain in both my feet. I had to stand under a hot shower to make them feel better. Since then I have intermittently have the same burning sensation but this time, mostly in my great toe, in the area of the tip and the nail. Now that I have noticed that, it seems the rest of my skin as a burning sensation on and off. I am told that I have a torn disc at L3-4, but I have not had any undue pain because of that. Please advise.

Hi Beverly,
Your complaints are all too common in those individuals who have had back surgery. To me, it sounds like you have a nerve impingement (irritation) where the nerves come out of the spinal column most likely as a result of the surgery.
You need to see your surgeon who might be able to inject the area or possibly recommend therapy. If that does not work you may have to try medication like Neurontin to reduce the symptoms.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Burning and pain in left foot

by Jill

I am having burning and pain in my left foot but only in my pinky toe. The other day I was walking and felt like something in my leg like numbness or something in lower leg then last night i awoke to burning and pain in my pinky toe. I though i slept on it wrong and tired to go back to sleep. Well morning came and still same all day. So when i got home from work I put my foot in a foot bath and it eased it up while in water but when I took it out I was in pain and burning again. Do I need to get this checked out or will it go away

Hi Jill,
If this pain lasts for more than a week, you can assume it will not go away on its own and you would need to see a podiatrist for treatment.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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After my back going out my big Toe turns numb when standing

by Hugh

After doing yard work and shoveling lots of river rocks with a wheelbarrel(lifting up and going back and forth(about 30 times)
Later on that night it felt like my back was going out due to all the lifting.Now my right big toe goes numb everytime I stand for more then 5 mins.It goes away if I sit or lay down.

Has anyone had this problem before?

Hi Hugh,
This problem is fairly common. More often than not the numbness you are feeling in the toe is the result of a pinched nerve in the back. In this case the result of all the heavy lifting you did.
You can wait a week or so and see if it goes away. If it persists you may want to visit your doctor because it may be an indication of potentially worse problems with your back.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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foot pain and burning

by Tanya
(Little Rock AR)

About 6 months ago I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis...up til this point I have never had any problems with feet.. even though I am a RN and work 12 hour shifts. I had custom inserts made... they said I also have a high arch. After a month I was still having issues with my arch hurting, after several attempts of fixing the supports they had new ones made. I am still having severe pain in my feet. By the end of a shift, even if just 8 hours my feet go between burning to numbing pain. The pain is along my heels, my arches, my ankles were the shoes touch and by my toes. I then invested in some Chung Shi shoes and still having issues. What else can it be? What else can I try?

Hi Tanya,
The fact that you state you have burning and numbing pain by the end of your shift tells me there is the possibility that you have a heel neuroma (read my section on heel neuroma). Many doctors classify all heel pain into plantar fasciitis whereas in reality there can be additional problems causing your heel pain.
You certainly have to address the issue of your high arches and the fact that you walk long hours on hard hospital floors. That is usually done through the use of orthotics, but perhaps the ones you have are not the best type for your foot problem and structure.
Discuss with your doctor the possibility of heel neuroma, there are things that can be done to reduce the pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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My left big toe and the right half of the toe next to it have no feeling.

by David
(Corpus Christi, Texas, United states)

I am a 22 year old male, I weigh 232 lbs and I'm 5' 11". I have loss of feeling in my left toe. It is like a U shape of numbness going from the right half of the toe next to my big left toe, to the area between my toes, and to the whole top of the big left toe. I wear flip flops all the time, I need to excercise, but it's raining at the moment. I have had this for months, I really can't remember when I noticed it, maybe a year, not sure. It hasn't spread, I feel no pain, except if I'm massaging it and i pull on the hairs on my toe, then it stings. I also have the craving or uncomfortiblilty to curl my toe inward to pop it. It pops quite a bit so I am sure it is circulation. I'm working on cleaning up my diet by drinking water and eating home instead of eating out. I have started wearing shoes over Sandals and found that the loss of feeling fades some, but when I take my shoes off and go to sleep, the loss of feeling returns. I can move my toes normal, there is no discoloration, the only reason I can tell that I don't have feeling is when I touch it. I don't feel numbness, just the slight urge to pop my toe. When the rainstorms go away I'm going to start running everyday and already I'm wearing shoes not sandals everyday. I am afraid of losing my toe, foot, or having diabetes. My dad says it is circulation and could be an early sign of sugar diabetes, he tells me to excercise so like I said I'm beginning to work on that.

Please help me out. I am afraid to make a visit to the doctor over finding out it is some terrible disease that will result in the loss of my foot. I don't see why I would lose anything though since I have gone along time with this and have had no pain or anything like that.

Thank you

I doubt you are going to lose your foot, just go see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and perhaps some treatment.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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burning sensation on inner left ankle below medial malleolus

by Susan

I have a burning sensation, after I exercise, mostly, below my left medial malleolus in my ankle. And it sometimes flairs up when I walk barefoot. Is it a nerve, or ligament, that is irritated? And what do I do for it?
Thanks so much!

Hi Susan,
Read my section on "Tarsal Tunnel". That would be the first thing that I can think of that might cause burning in the area you mentioned.
If you happen to be flat footed your first option might be to try an arch support.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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shooting pain sole of foot, travels to hands.

by Jennifer

Hi Doctor.
For the past 6months I have experienced pains in my feet, mostly in the heel area. On a recent family holiday I took to hiring a wheel chair as I could hardly walk.
Once back in England I decided to see my Doc who referred me to a foot specialist.
I struggled to tiptoe, and found walking always painful.

I recently had an MRI scan, and was told that the results showed mass internal swelling of the tissue in BOTH feet. I am not an athlete and have not had an injury or accident. I was then sent for blood tests, to rule out thallasemia as I am from Mediterranean background. I have not yet had the results. I have been given an air cast boot to wear on my right foot, and have insoles made for my left foot.
They said surgery is a possibility.

Since my last appointment I have experienced back pain, and stabbing pains in hands also.

I have been doing research online, and although the dr never said this is plantar fascitis, Im wondering if this is what I have been diagnosed with?
Arthritis is in the family however I am just 19.

Help would be appreciated as I am in agony!
Thankyou for your time.

Hi Jennifer,
Although you may have plantar fasciitis, the fact that you are now getting back and hand pain leads me to believe there is a possibility that you have a systemic problem which may be causing your pain. I think you need to be worked up by a rheumatologist to rule out a systemic cause for your pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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burning sensation with sprained ankle

by Erin

I sprained my ankle 3 weeks ago and have had clean xrays. I have had constant pain since. Not only constant pain but my ankle at times has a severe sensation of burning pain, so severe that it wakes me up in the middle of the night and I'm ripping the brace and bandage off so sure that I'm going to see a huge red spot because my ankle is on fire! That is how sure I am that my ankle was burning and how real the burning sensation feels. Not only that but I also feel sharp stabbing pains as well.
I have had sprained ankles in the past but nothing that carried on this long and with this much pain. Is there anything more that this could be or is this just simply a sprained ankle? Is there other things that can happen when you sprain your ankle to cause this type of pain 3 weeks later?

Hi Erin,
This may sound like I am stating the obvious, but as time passes, an injured area should begin to feel better, not worse, so if you were my patient I would be somewhat concerned.
Assuming your brace is not too tight then there may be more going on then just a sprain.
I would speak to your doctor and let he or she know about your problem. An MRI might be indicated to see if there is more damage then originally thought.
If there is no further damage then an ankle sprain, some physical therapy might be helpful in alleviating your symptoms.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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episodical short very severe stabbing pain in the heel of my right foot

by Marieke Custers
(Ulvenhout the Netherlands)

Dear Doctor,

Since about 6 weeks I experience an episodical very sharp stabbing pain in the heel of my right foot. It is located under the heel at the inside. These attacks come once or twice a day and they typically last only about 5 to 10 seconds. But the pain is very intense. I cannot help screaming and sometimes things drop from my hands. After such an attack, while the pain has gone, I often
sit down crying for some time. The attacks are unpredictable and they may occur while sitting down, standing, walking or even in bed. In between these attacks I have no pain at all.

I have read a few posts here in which you mentioned heel neuroma as a possible cause. Could that be my problem too? If so, and in view of the time a treatment would take, what would be the best way to lessen the pain in the meantime in terms of external measures or pain medicine?

Hi Marieke,
Assuming it is a true heel neuroma, the problem is you never know when you are going to have an attack so it is difficult to prepare for the attack.
Obviously the smart move would be to see a doctor and let he or she take care of it. You are limited as to what you can do on your own. You can try very cushioned shoes to absorb some shock, you can take anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate it), but I would only recommend that for no more than 2-3 weeks.
You can try icing the area in an effort to reduce inflammation, but ultimately if you are having such severe pain, it should be brought to the attention of a doctor if for no other reason, it might be something other than a heel neuroma.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Neuropathy in feet and legs

by Olimpia Binetti
(Warwick, N.Y.)

I had surgery 2 years ago for Spinal Stenosis and the pains in my feet have not gotten better..I am afraid I will lose my balance and fall...The sensations are usually worse when I get up in the morning....During the day with a well cushion shoe or sneaker I function pretty well...I heard of a treatment with Selenium may help...What is your opinion and what do you suggest?

Hi Olimpia,
I am familiar with selenium but unfortunately have not heard of its use in neurological conditions.
Since you are so uncomfortable you need to have this further examined by a neurologist. If you do not get satisfactory answers from your doctor, consult with another one.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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numb feet

by Lisa
(San Diego, CA)

I wore heels and went dancing for a long period of time. the next day my feet were extremely numb. Tingly, they stinged, very uncomfortable to walk on, consistently uncomfrotable. the numbing continued on for a bout 2 months continuously. then it only happened occasionally. Now again i wore heels, went out dancing and they are numb again.with the same feeling and symptons. i can no longer go on with this. Circulation problem? i am on mirapex for RLS because we thought it might be that, but obviously not.

Hi Lisa,
I am stating the obvious when I say it is a combination of wearing heels and dancing that is causing this numbness. Did you wear the same pair of heels both times? If so, you might consider trying different shoes. If you wore different shoes each time then it is the type of activity you are doing that caused the problem.
I do not think it is circulatory in nature, you would have numbness from other activities as well; it seems to be more of a biomechanical problem meaning it is the way your feet function.
I would see a podiatrist who could better assess the situation; you may also have to see a neurologist as the source of this numbness could also be coming from your lower back.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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aching feet/ankles/numbness

by margaret boone
(new haven, ky)

I have documented arthritis in my ankles. I am in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma for 3 years. I take Singular and Advare daily. My pain in my feet,toes and ankles is debilitating at times, and other times, it goes away. I've changed shoes, tried the whirlpool,massaged, and taken ibuprophen. I am 61 years young and love to garden and farm. Should I see a podiatrist, my Gp, or my onocologist? Frankly, I am a bit tired of doctors.

Hi Margaret,
I can understand your feeling of being tired of doctors. Based on your complaints I think the podiatrist is the person to start with.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pricking and sharp pain and burning sensation on both feet

by santha
(Pune, India)

I have friend who is suffering from sharp and pricking pain on both his feet. He has also suffering from burning sensation on his feet. He has been treated with all kinds of medicine including naturopathy (massage). The pain has not stopped. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Santha,
Neuropathy can come from many sources. Read my section on "neuropathy". Because of this I cannot really help you other than to tell your friend to be checked for diabetes and then the other possible causes can be ruled out.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Numbness of the toes!

by Nancy
(Geneva, Switzerland)

I am not used to wear high heels and after I did it, once, about 3 weeks ago, for more than 12 hours in a row, I felt afterward and still feel my toes (specially the ones in the middle) and feet balls very numb and tingling. I feel I have loss of sensation, sharp pain sometimes and I am not able to walk anymore as much as I'd like. I have tried to rest since then but it is not helping.I was hoping everything would get better after some days but it has been more than 3 weeks and I'm starting to worry. Please, can you help me? Thanks
Nancy (33)

Hi Nancy,
Read my section on Morton's neuroma. You may have aggravated the nerves in the ball of the foot as a result of wearing high heels.
I would have thought that after 3 weeks your symptoms would have begun to subside but since they have not you may require some professional care.
Do not wait on this, because if the condition gets worse, it will become more painful and it will become more difficult to treat.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Sharp shooting pains originating in between toes - but only on step machine at the gym

by Monica
(New York)

I am a very active, healthy 30 year old female (I do not wear alot of high heels) and train at the gym 5 days a week. I enjoy running about 3 days of the week on the treadmill and buy new good quality running shoes at least once a year.

I have recently (about 2 months ago) discovered the step machine and the ellpitical trainer at the gym and quite enjoy training on them as well - however - I have noticed that after 20 minutes- my left foot goes numb. Its still bearable - but after 40 min on the same machine, sharp pains shoot through my foot and it feels like they have originated from between my 3rd and 4th toes (counting from big toe) Its very bizarre. No amount of changing socks or shoes can fix it - but I do fing that its not as prominent on the treadmill - only the step machine and elliptical (where there is no actual impact)

The situation is gettin worse and worse and this pain now originates every day at the gym and also later that day when I am in regualar, comfy sneakers.

Please help!

Hi Monica,
The pain in your toes sounds very much like Morton's neuroma (read my section on this condition). You may want to stop the activity that is causing this because if it gets worse it can be a very debilitating problem.
I would suggest you see a podiatrist who can better assess your problem. There is a chance with the addition of padding into your sneaker or perhaps an orthotic, you may be able to resume your activity.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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foot numbness

sept 11, 10 yr old son had 4 weeks of just casting for shortened achilles tendons. that same night child complained of cutting in left ankle . doctors said there was nothing wrong and they were unable to see through the casts. after 4 weeks of misery the casts were removed. my child had full blown cellulitis(looked like a shark ate his foot and ankle and smell was bad). doctor said to slap some antibiotic cream and a band aid when we get home and will be fine. I was unhappy with this and took child to urgent care. was given diagnosis of bad case of cellulitis. antiobitics and topicals were given. It is almost 1 year later and the child still has a scar, tumbness, and tingling in that area from the ankle to his toes and sharp shooting pain in his foot as where it makes him fall. I have taken him to his pediatrician and they just keep telling me that the cellulitis is healed and is fine. They don't want to pursue that there is something going on here. The child is scheduled for achille lenghtening surgery in setp. I am afraid that there may be something wrong and get to the bottom of this first before surgery.

Your concerns are well founded. The simplest explanation is that he has some nerve or tendon damage from the infection (assuming it was bad enough), however there is always the possibility he still has an infection of deeper structures (although in all liklihood there would still be draining in that area).
I would take him to a pediatric orthopedist and get another opinion.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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major nerve pain in my heel.

I have sudden major heel pain. No pattern to it. All of a sudden, it feels
like someone sticks a 1000 volt wire to my heel. May last a few seconds, then gone for hours. Then may last for seconds and keep happening for the next hour coming in spurts. Will happen in the middle of the night while I am asleep.

It is just in my left heel only, no other pain anywhere. I have been checked for heel spurs...none.

No burning, no numbness, just an electrical volt feeling, which I guess is a nerve.

I don't know what to do. I'm lucky it is my left foot, because if it was my right, I would probably hit another vehicle in the rear.

Thank you,

Hi Vicky,
Let me state the obvious when I tell you to seek medical attention. Pain of that magnitude requires care. It sounds like you have a heel neuroma (read my section on that subject). There are treatments for this condition and they can be very effective.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Peripheral neuropathy from Taxol

by Mary Anne
(Greensboro, NC)

Is there any effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy caused by Taxol used in chemo? During the chemo treatments, I experienced pain in the bottom of my feet like walking on broken glass. I complained about it because it was so bad that it was difficult to walk. About halfway through the course of chemo, the doctor reduced the amount of Taxol in the chemo. It still left me with noticeable neuropathy in my feet. The only treatment that was suggested and tried was capcasin which wasn't effective. I've asked numerous physicians, including oncologists, and have received no answers. It's been 6 years since chemo ended, and there's been no improvement -- in fact, it seems to have gotten worse.

Hi Mary Anne,
Strong drugs like Taxol and other chemotherapy drugs have been known to cause neuropathy in patients.
I am surprised the problem has lingered but everyone is different.
Personally, I think a neurologist would be the best specialist to see for this problem. There are drugs out there to counter the effects of neuropathy but they too have to be taken with caution.
Let a neurologist examine you, he or she can then tailor a dosage for you with the least amount of side affects.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Intense sharp shooting pain in foot

by jessica

I have this intense, sharp shooting pain in the inside of my right foot where the arch is. The pain is in the middle of the foot, and most time it feels like their some sharp object hitting my foot as I walk. No amount of painkillers have helped. I tried accupunture but the pain keeps coming back. The pain is so extreme at times, I am at a total loss at what to do.

Hi Jessica,
Sounds like you may have a partial tear of a tendon or perhaps the plantar fascial ligament both of which you are not going to be able to fix on your own.
Your best bet would be to see a podiatrist and get a more accurate diagnosis and some treatment.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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my feet go numb

by Casie
(gulfport, ms)

Sometimes when im walking around or just standing but still moving around my feet or hands go numb and tingely. Even after increased movement the numb feeling continues almost like they are asleep. I havent done anything to hurt myself and it has been been going on for a while now.

Hi Casie,
Since this occurs on your hands and feet, I would look to your spinal column as the the source of the discomfort.
Make an appointment to see a doctor who specializes in back pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Severe foot pain,loss of sensation

by Delphine
(Lewistown,PA, USA)

It started as burning in the feet which would subside with very sore spots which the podiatrist I had at the time padded my feet in certain places and it was helpful. Af first it would come and go. It gradually got worse over a period of time. Now I have terrible pain, burning, stabbing pain and my feet and legs tingle and the loss of sensation has gradually moved upwards. It feels like when you slept on your arm and wake up in the morning, there is pain,tingling, burning, but still loss of sensation ,if that makes sense. I do have spinal problems(stenosis)and a small lesion on the thoracic spine. Which no one thinks serious enough for surgery. At first it was thought to be diabetic neuropathy, but I am not diabetic, though I do have insulin resistance. My sugar is usually normal and does get a little high occasionally, average with a blood test is 130. Now my legs hurt as well and a sore even to touch, the doc said tendonitis. But it is all related I believe. The bottoms of my feet are bright red and any walking at all causes alot of pain. Sometimes one or two toes go really numb. I also have trigeminal neuralgia, so they thought this might be MS. So far after 5 years no diagnosis and alot of frustration on my part as it gradually is becoming worse and worse. I am on trileptal for nerve pain, and the neurologist gave me wellbutrin for improvement of certain nerve function. Now the loss of feeling, tingling, has advanced to my trunk area, buttocks and so forth. Since it started with my feet, I am hopeful that you might have some answers. Even a good guess might be helpful as something I can investigate. I can feel when the doctor pricks my feet with a needle if I am looking. It feels like I am losing sensation from within outwards. Like wearing pants or socks , when you don't have any on. Thanks much for any info or direction you might give. I realize it is a complicated problem. Sincerely, Delphine P.

Hi Delphine,
With the severity of the symptoms you describe I would look at the stenosis in your back as a possible cause as well as tarsal tunnel which a foot condition similar to carpal tunnel. See what your doctors think about those possibilities.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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nerve damage after foot fusion

by Bonnie

I have a burning sensation in my foot after a non union and the burning is really terrible at times!! What can be done to help with the burning? I just do not know
what to do with my foot to help make it better. Can you please help?? Bonnie

Hi Bonnie,
I do not know how long it has been since your surgery but if it was a short time ago the burning should diminish but I would certainly make your surgeon aware of the problem.
If you surgery was quite a while ago, then the nerve damage may be permanent; there is medication that can be taken to reduce the symptoms, again speak with your doctor, if he or she is at a loss, then see a neurologist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Shooting pain in toes


My teenage daughter often complains with having shooting pains in her toes. She is often in so much pain that it brings her to tears. She says her toes feel as if they are burning as well. There can be no symptoms for months and months, then all of a sudden, she gets the pain. she is very sporty, and used to do a lot of gymnastics.

Funnily enough, the pain often flairs up when she is not well - for example if she has a bad cold or fever.

She doesn't wear ill fitting shoes, but she does have long toes - would that make a difference?

Thanks for your advice

Shooting pains in the toes is usually suggestive of Morton's neuroma (read my section on that topic), but because she is a gymnast the source of pain could be something else.
Your best bet would be to consult with a podiatrist to get a dfinitive diagnosis; it is probably readily treatable since she is young.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Numbness in Toes

by Mike

I have numbness in the big toe and the two toes next to it on my right foot. Also, to the right of the ball of my right foot it seems like my sock is bunched up or something. It's a really weird feeling. What could be causing these symptoms?

Hi Mike,
Read my section on Morton's neuroma and see if that sounds like your problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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electric shock pain between second and third toe

Very severe "electric shock" pain, in between the 2nd and third toe on left foot. The pain is so violent, that when it comes, it makes my heart go fast and I start to sweat. What is the cause of this? Is there some medication I can take?

Hi Annie,
Read my section on Mortons neuroma.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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frequent short periods of foot numbness

by steve

Here's one that might be of interest...and it's certainly a puzzle for my doctor, neurologist and me.
For some years now and with growing regularity, I have had brief spasms (or convulsions) of what, in symptom terms, might be described as 'foot drop'. By 'regularity' and 'brief', I mean 2 or 3 times a day (late afternoon and evening)and 10 to 15 seconds.

These brief spasms, which tend to run in waves largely down the upper left half of my left foot, are accompanied by an almost complete loss of feeling in most of the side/front of my foot. This loss of feeling is temporary and normality returns almost instantly after each event. There is no pain, though there a distinct feeling of coldness running through my foot and partially up my leg for a few seconds after. Additionally, over this last year or so, I have developed the feeling of a lump behind my middle and fourth toes..there isn't an actual lump but almost certainly a small area within my foot devoid of feeling.

Three other observations: There is no obvious loss of strength in my left leg or foot despite the fact that this event has happened many hundreds of times. Secondly, there may be some relation to sleep - If I sleep well, the onset of these events is pushed back later into the day; poor sleep appears to result in the problem happening earlier. Thirdly, I have no apparent back problems.

Most conceivable tests have been carried out and nothing is obvious - or even hinted at...... and, of course, what I'm describing might just not be footdrop but merely symptoms resembling it.
Any ideas that can help?

Hi Steve,
That would be a tough one to diagnose from across the Atlantic, but typically those symptoms are suggestive of a herniated disc, but you state that you have no back problems. The only other area you might look for nerve irritation causing this type of symptoms would be at the head of fibula bone where the nerves passing through are known to become irritated in some people.
On a longshot, has anyone looked into Parkinson's disease as the source?

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Mayo Clinic

Johns Hopkins Medicine


Arthritis Foundation

University of Rochester Medical Center

Harvard Health

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

(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
best buy in a pre-made orthotic
click link below


Orthotics for heel and arch pain for those who must wear dress shoes
click link below


HONESTe Online Member Seal
Click to verify - Before you buy!

I've been doing some aggressive research lately (it's how I found your incredible website) and realize now that my symptoms are not consistant with the diagnosis.


Hunterville, NC
….after reviewing your amazing site (great for the avg. jill). So thank you very much!!!


I am really, really impressed with your plain-speak explanations for the various conditions.


This was an extremely helpful site. I have an appointment on the 18th and your info. Was right on target…..


A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


Ontario, Canada
I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


West lafayette, IN
Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

Michael E.

Tampa, Florida 33624
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



Dear Dr.Mitnick

I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


Dragica W.


....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


South Africa

You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

Matthew W.

Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


location unknown

Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

location unknown

Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


location unknown

Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


location unknown
Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


location unknown

Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

location unknown
Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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