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What Causes Burning in The Heels? Symptoms & Treatments.

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Are you experiencing a burning sensation in your heels? This discomfort can be both frustrating and concerning, especially when it affects your daily activities. In this article, we will explore the various causes of burning in the heels and provide you with valuable insights to help you find relief. One possible cause of this burning sensation is plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by inflammation in the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. We will delve deeper into the symptoms and treatment options for plantar fasciitis. Another common culprit is peripheral neuropathy, a condition that affects the nerves in your feet. We will discuss how this condition can cause burning sensations and the potential underlying causes, such as diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, we will explore other causes like Achilles tendinitis, nerve impingement, and wearing ill-fitting shoes, as these factors can also contribute to the burning sensation in your heels. If you're tired of dealing with burning in your heels, stay tuned to learn about effective remedies and prevention strategies. Harnessing insights from medical professionals, we aim to provide you with a helpful guide to address this uncomfortable condition.

Common Causes Of Heel Burning

A burning sensation in your heel can be a frustrating and puzzling symptom. While plantar fasciitis, the arch pain nemesis, often takes center stage when discussing heel woes, burning can arise from various culprits. Here, we explore some common causes of this fiery discomfort:


  • Nerve Damage: Often the culprit behind burning pain, nerve damage in the foot can stem from various conditions. Diabetes is a significant risk factor, as uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage nerves throughout the body, including those in the feet. Other potential causes include pinched nerves in the lower back radiating pain down the leg and into the heel, vitamin deficiencies, and infections like shingles.


  • Inflammatory Conditions: Certain inflammatory conditions can wreak havoc on your joints and tissues, including those in the heel. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and reactive arthritis can all trigger burning heel pain and inflammation. These conditions often present with additional symptoms like joint stiffness and swelling in other areas of the body.

Common Causes Of Heel Burning

Plantar Fasciitis And Heel Burning

Heel pain can manifest in a variety of ways, and differentiating between plantar fasciitis and a burning sensation can be confusing. While plantar fasciitis is a common culprit behind heel pain, it typically presents with a sharp, stabbing pain, often worse upon taking your first steps in the morning. Burning pain, on the other hand, can be a symptom of a wider range of issues, including nerve damage or inflammatory conditions.


However, there can be some overlap. In some cases, plantar fasciitis can cause a burning sensation alongside the characteristic stabbing pain. This is especially true if the inflammation in the plantar fascia irritates nearby nerves. If you're experiencing burning heel pain, it's important to consult a podiatrist or healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. They can assess your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and potentially order tests to pinpoint the underlying cause. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing the condition effectively and finding relief from the fiery discomfort.

Nerve Impingement And Heel Burning

A burning sensation in your heel can be a real firecracker, disrupting your daily stride. While plantar fasciitis often takes the blame for heel pain, nerve impingement can be another culprit behind this fiery discomfort. Here's how nerve impingement can lead to burning heel pain:


Nerves in your foot, like the tibial nerve and its branches, are responsible for feeling and movement. When these nerves become compressed or irritated due to factors like bone spurs, inflamed tendons, or tight muscles, it can disrupt their normal function. This irritation sends abnormal signals, often manifesting as burning pain, tingling, or numbness in the areas those nerves supply – including your heel. In some cases, the burning sensation might be accompanied by weakness or loss of muscle function in the affected area. If you suspect nerve impingement as the cause of your burning heel pain, consulting a podiatrist or neurologist is crucial. They can pinpoint the specific nerve involved and recommend the most suitable treatment course, which might involve medications, physical therapy, or even surgery in severe cases.

Peripheral Neuropathy And Heel Burning

A persistent burning sensation in your heel can be a puzzling and concerning symptom. While we've explored some potential causes, another culprit to consider is peripheral neuropathy. This condition affects the peripheral nerves, the network that sends signals between your brain and the rest of your body, including your feet. Damage to these nerves can lead to a variety of symptoms, including the burning pain you're experiencing.


Peripheral neuropathy can arise from various underlying conditions, such as diabetes, chronic alcohol use, autoimmune diseases, and even vitamin deficiencies. In some cases, the cause may be unknown (idiopathic neuropathy). Regardless of the origin, damaged peripheral nerves can misfire or send distorted signals, resulting in the burning pain you feel in your heel. This burning sensation might be accompanied by other nerve-related symptoms like tingling, numbness, or even weakness in the affected foot. If you suspect peripheral neuropathy as the reason behind your burning heel pain, consulting a healthcare professional is essential. Early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition can help manage nerve damage and potentially prevent further complications.

Other Medical Conditions Associated With Heel Burning

While nerve damage and inflammatory conditions are frequent culprits behind burning heel pain, other medical issues can also trigger this fiery discomfort. Here are a couple of lesser-known possibilities:


  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition arises from compression of the tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel, a narrow passageway on the inner ankle. This compression can be caused by various factors like swollen tendons, flat feet, or even a space-occupying mass. The burning pain from tarsal tunnel syndrome typically radiates from the inner ankle and sole of the foot, potentially reaching the heel. This burning sensation might be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and even a shooting pain that worsens with activity.


  • Skin Conditions: Certain skin conditions can also manifest with burning heel pain. Erythema nodosum, an inflammatory condition causing tender red nodules on the shins, can sometimes involve burning in the heels. Additionally, fungal infections like athlete's foot or eczema can cause burning and irritation on the soles of the feet, potentially affecting the heels as well. If you suspect a skin condition might be the cause of your burning heel pain, a visit to a dermatologist can help determine the best course of treatment.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Burning heel pain can be a frustrating and puzzling symptom. While Bilt Labs custom orthotics excel at addressing biomechanical issues that contribute to plantar fasciitis and other common heel pain conditions, the question remains: can they help with burning heel pain?


The answer depends on the underlying cause of your burning sensation. If nerve impingement due to improper foot alignment is a factor, Bilt Labs custom orthotics can offer some relief. Here's how:


  • Improved Alignment: By creating custom orthotics based on precise molds of your feet, Bilt Labs helps correct any biomechanical imbalances that might be pinching nerves and causing burning pain. This improved alignment can alleviate pressure on irritated nerves, potentially reducing the burning sensation.


  • Targeted Support: Bilt Labs offers two orthotic options – Everyday and Active. Both provide arch support and stability, crucial for proper foot mechanics and reducing overall stress on the plantar fascia and surrounding tissues. In some cases, inflammation in these tissues can irritate nearby nerves, contributing to burning pain. By promoting proper alignment and reducing inflammation, Bilt Labs custom orthotics may indirectly help ease burning discomfort.


However, it's important to note that Bilt Labs custom orthotics are not a cure-all for burning heel pain. If the cause is unrelated to biomechanics, such as peripheral neuropathy or a skin condition, orthotics may not provide significant relief.


Here's the key takeaway: While Bilt Labs orthotics can't address all causes of burning heel pain, they can be a valuable tool in your recovery journey if nerve impingement due to misalignment is a contributing factor. Consulting a podiatrist or healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis is crucial. They can determine the underlying cause of your burning pain and recommend the most suitable treatment plan, which might include Bilt Labs orthotics alongside other therapies.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Conclusion

Burning heel pain can be a disconcerting symptom, and the underlying cause can vary greatly. While common culprits like plantar fasciitis and nerve damage are important to consider, don't hesitate to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. Early intervention and treatment of the root cause are essential for getting relief from the fiery discomfort and getting back to enjoying pain-free steps. Remember, knowledge is power, but a professional opinion is key to unlocking the solution to your burning heel woes. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.