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Diseases & Conditions

Paresthesia & Burning Foot Syndrome

What is "Burning Foot Syndrome"?

If you have experienced a tingling "pins and needles" sensation after a limb falls asleep, then you're familiar with the effects of paresthesia, otherwise known as burning foot syndrome. However, unlike when a limb falls asleep, this syndrome occurs on a long-term basis and usually signifies a more serious condition.

Causes of Paresthesia

Paresthesia results when nerves in the limbs are restricted or otherwise prevented from functioning normally.

A common cause, especially in older individuals, is poor circulation, which starves the nerve cells and makes it difficult for them to pass along signals. Malnutrition, a very direct way to starve the nerve cells, may also cause paresthesia. Diabetes is accordingly a cause much of the time, as are thyroid diseases such as hyper or hypothyroidism.

Pressure on the nerve is another common cause. Inflammation in the tissue surrounding the nerve can be enough to trigger paresthesia. Carpal tunnel syndrome or the many variations of arthritis are chronic conditions that have a similar effect. Manual pressure (such as one's head resting on one's arm) is often the cause of the familiar short-term version of the condition, and the long-term version can result from improper posture or lifting of heavy objects.

Nerve damage too, whether by infection or injury, can impair the functioning of nerves and create the paresthesia sensation. This can occur in the limbs' nerves themselves, or within the central nervous system as a result of a stroke or brain injury.

Treat the Underlying Causes

Many of these causes are the result of other conditions, such as exposure to toxins, undiagnosed diabetes, or viral infection. Unexplained paresthesia should be promptly addressed by a medical professional.

Medication chosen to address the cause of paresthesia can be very effective in providing relief. For inflammation, immunosuppressants are usually prescribed. Antiviral medication works against paresthesia resulting from viral infection or shingles. Topical numbing cream is effective for idiopathic paresthesia in which the cause has not yet been determined.

We offer the following medications as a solution and source of relief.

Medications to Treat Burning Foot Syndrome

Over-the-Counter Medications:

  • Elavil
  • Lioresal
  • Catapres
  • Procardia

Compounded Medications:
Our pharmacists are experts in creating creams, gels, ointments, capsules and oral suspensions of the following:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketamine
  • Baclofen
  • Capsaicin
  • Clonidine
  • Nifedipine
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA