Top 17 Home Remedies For Burning Feet For Immediate And Long Term Relief
This article lists 17 home remedies for burning feet that will provide you with immediate and long term relief.
Burning feet can be a nightmare, both literally and figuratively. It inhibits your ability to perform daily tasks like walking and even falling asleep.
Treatment For Burning Feet OR Peripheral Neuropathy
By now, you probably know that the burning sensation in your feet is caused by nerve damage. This is also known as peripheral neuropathy.
The good news is, for the majority of you out there, peripheral neuropathy can absolutely be treated. A step-by-step elimination of the the following 4 factors can be the key to living pain free.
The 4 main factors for nerve damage are:
- Lack of oxygen to the nerve cells
- Lack of blood supply to the nerve cells
- Reduction of energy production (in the form of ATP) in the nerve cells
- Chronic Inflammation
If you have any one of these factors, then your nerve cells are being damaged and are dying faster than they can be regrown. The more of these aforementioned factors present in the nerve cells the greater the symptoms of burning in the feet.
The exercises and food we have described below will help regulate the aforementioned 4 factors of burning feet or neuropathy.
Home Remedies For Burning Feet That Provide Immediate Relief (Short Term Fixes)
The following home remedies are only quick fixes for the burning sensation in your feet. The 4 key factors listed above need to be tackled for long term benefits. You can check the section below on long term home remedies for burning feet.
For best results, make sure to perform the Lacrosse Ball Massage mentioned below before applying these pastes.
Natural Baths and Ointments For Burning Feet (Immediate Relief)
- Turmeric Paste: Make a paste with 2 tea spoons of Turmeric powder and water. Apply the paste to the sole of the feet and allow to sit for 20 minutes. You can leave the paste on if you like, or wash it away with cool water. It is important to note that this will temporarily discolor the soles of your feet, giving them a yellow tinge. You can also massage and moisturize your feet with coconut oil for further relief. You can also consume turmeric in water, although the taste can be quite pungent. To consume turmeric water; mix 1-2 tea spoons of turmeric powder in a glass of warm water. Repeat twice a day. “Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in spice turmeric, has recently been studied for its active role in the treatment of various central nervous system disorders” – [Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929771/]. The mechanism in which Curcumin works as a neuro-protective agent is yet to be completely understood. However, studies have shown that the Curcumin in Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation. It is also an inhibitor of reactive astrocyte expression which can reduce cell death. This allows for regeneration of the damaged nerves.
- Bitter Gourd Paste – A paste made out of bitter gourd leaves can have a cooling effect on the feet. More importantly, it can provide immediate healing through its anti-inflammatory properties. To make a paste, crush fresh leaves of bitter gourd in a bowl and continue to add water to make into a thick paste. Apply to the feet and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. You can then rinse your feet with cool water, then massage and moisturize with coconut oil.
- Cold Water – [NOTE – NOT FOR THOSE WITH ERYTHROMELALGIA] A lot of people automatically assume that using cold water to reduce the burning sensation in the feet is an old wives tale. But dunking your feet in a tub of cold water can bring immediate relief to the burning sensation in your feet. Nerve inflammation is one of the 4 factors affecting peripheral neuropathy. And cold water tackles the inflammation in the feet by taking away the heat in the area. Also, do not soak your feet in cold water for more than a couple of minutes. This can constrict the blood vessels thereby reducing blood flow to the area and worsening the pain.
- Epsom Salt – [NOTE – NOT FOR THOSE WITH DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART PROBLEMS] Adding Epsom salt to the aforementioned tub of cold water is an excellent combination to help fight the burning sensation in your feet. Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the swelling. This must only be used if you are not diabetic, have normal blood pressure levels and have no heart problems. This bath may tend to dry the feet. So massaging the feet with coconut oil will help moisturize and add an anti-inflammatory coating on your feet.
- Coconut Oil – An excellent moisturizer, coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. A perfect combination for your burning feet. In fact, I recommend keeping your feet massaged with coconut at all times. Especially after any of the treatments listed here.
Long Term Home Remedies For Burning Feet
Exercises For Burning Feet/ Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a progressive problem, that means it gets worse with time (if left unattended). When neuropathy gets really bad, you can start having balance issues.
This is when patients have trouble walking.
So if you have neuropathy in the feet, one of the best things you can do is to move them! Any sort of movement you can do with the feet, stimulates the joints and nerves.
The following are the best exercises for peripheral neuropathy:
- Walking For Peripheral Neuropathy – Walking might sound counter intuitive, especially when your feet are burning or numb. But walking helps stimulate the nerves by filling them with oxygen rich blood.
- Foot Pumps – Foot pumps are another easy yet effective exercise for burning feet. To perform this exercise, place your calves on an elevated surface while lying down. Keeping your calves stationary, raise and lower your feet for a total of 10-15 repetitions on each side. Make sure not to rush this exercise. The purpose is to stimulate the nerves by pumping blood into them. Move onto the next exercise after your have completed 3 sets on each foot.
- Calf Raise – This is another simple yet effective exercise that can be performed anywhere and at anytime. If you are experiencing numbness in your feet, make sure to take the support of a chair or wall when doing this exercise. To perform the calf raise, simply raise your heels off the ground while standing. Make sure to hold at the top for a count of 3 before lowering your heels back to the floor. Complete 10-15 repetitions on each foot for a total of 2 sets.
- Lacrosse Ball Massage For Peripheral Neuropathy – The best thing you can do after your exercise routine is to end with a foot massage. Massaging the feet, not only provides immediate relief, but also improves blood flow to the nerves of the feet. You will require a cheap massage ball which you can pick up on Amazon.com. While seated, place the ball under your feet and roll in a back and forth motion. Make sure the ball travels from the heel all the way to the toes and back. Also make sure not to place too much pressure on the ball at first. You will start to feel several tight or tender spots on your foot. At each tight spot, apply gradually increasing pressure as you continue to roll the ball to iron it out. This exercise will leave your feet feeling rejuvenated. After this you are ready to move onto the next section which involves taking a foot bath and rubbing special ointments/pastes to sooth your feet.
Diet Changes To Treat Burning Feet (Long Term Relief)
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar is all the rage these days for its health benefits. And it helps with peripheral neuropathy too! Consuming apple cider vinegar daily can help reduce inflammation and stiffness in the feet.
- Ginger and Garlic – Ginger and garlic not only add excellent flavor and aroma to food but also have anti-inflammatory properties. They are a staple in many Indian dishes because of this. Adding them to your daily food intake will help reduce inflammation in the long run.
- Vitamin B3 – Vitamin B3 supplementation in the diet improves blood circulation, which is a fundamental factor affecting burning feet. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin is available in milk, green veggies, egg yolks, peanuts, yogurt and a lot of other foods. It is important to note that drinking alcohol depletes Vitamin B in the body. Another good reason to quit drinking if you suffer from burning feet.
- Hawthorne – Drinking Hawthorne tea can be an excellent way to improve blood circulation in the nerves. To consume this tea, boil a teaspoon of Hawthorne leaves in water and allow to sit for ten minutes. For best results, consume everyday.
- Fish Oil – Great for diabetics and is a healthy food choice overall. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Its anti-inflammatory properties will keep the inflammation in check. This is a must have for any regimented diet plan.
Lifestyle Changes To Treat Burning Feet (Long Term Relief)
- Stay Hydrated – Staying hydrated is the simplest way to reduce inflammation in the body. Yet it is something that a lot us easily forget. To make sure that you are drinking enough water, check the color of your urine. If it has a yellow tinge to it, you aren’t drinking enough. Any time you urine is clear, you know that you are well hydrated.
- Give Up Smoking – Giving up smoking is a major lifestyle change that is not easy to implement. But smoking constricts the blood vessels. This reduces blood flow and and essential nutrients the damaged nerves require in order to regrow.
- Abstain From Alcohol – This is another lifestyle change that can be quite hard to implement. While drinking one or two glasses of wine a day may have potential health benefits, if you are suffering from burning feet (neuropathy) or diabetes, it is best to cut the habit out of your life completely. Continuing to drink alcohol with neuropathy will only make it worse over time.
Symptoms Of Burning Feet/ Peripheral Neuropathy:
- Numbness and pain in the feet
- Weakness in the legs
- Stabbing pain
- Difficulty walking and sleeping
- Feeling of having swollen feet
- Cramping and muscle twitching
- Muscle or bone loss
- Loss of ankle reflexes
The burning sensation in the feet can range from tingling in the feet, to numbness or weakness in the legs.
Burning feet is attributed to having some sort of nerve damage to the feet, also known as peripheral neuropathy.
Causes of Burning Feet/ Peripheral Neuropathy
Nerves are the longest cells in our body.
If you want to walk, your nerves will send a signal from your brain to your leg, in order to move. And if you step on a sharp object, your nerves send a pain signal to your brain warning of danger.
This back and forth transfer of messages between your brain and body is carried out by the nerves. And damaged nerves do not send the right signal brain.
Neuropathy means nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy is when the nerve damage affects nerves other than the brain or spinal chord.
Nerve damage can occur due to several medical conditions, the most common one being diabetes. Over 50% of people with diabetes will develop some form of mild to severe neuropathy. Severity in these cases is directly related to how long the nerves have been exposed to hyperglycemia.
Some people will even develop neuropathy before they are diabetic. Many times this can be a precursor to developing diabetes.
In the case of ‘neuropathy’, the damaged nerve sends pain signals to the brain even though there may be no wound. This is what causes the uncomfortable burning sensation in the feet.
There are two types of neuropathy – the most common being acquired neuropathy which is extremely common, the other being genetic – which is very small in numbers. Neuropathy affects about 20 million Americans, that’s one in every fifteen Americans have neuropathy.
The most common cause of acquired peripheral neuropathy is:
- Pre-Diabetic State
Other causes of neuropathy include
- Toxins – Alcohol and Heavy Metals: The next most common cause of Peripheral Neuropathy is over consumption of alcohol. Alcohol can be a double edged sword. It can be healthy when limited to one to two glasses of wine a day. But when the dosage increases, alcohol can be devastating to the nervous system. Alcohol can be toxic to the nerves. Heavy metal chemicals can also cause neuropathy, but are far less common than alcohol and diabetic induced neuropathy.
- Vitamin Deficiencies – Deficiencies in Vitamin B-12, Vitamin-D, Thiamine and Vitamin-E are also a common cause.
- Underactive Thyroid Gland
- Auto-Immune Diseases
- Chemotherapy Medications
- Metabolic Diseases – Kidney or liver diseases.
- Infections – HIV, Lyme Disease, Shingles
- Trauma or pressure to the nerves – due to mechanical deformities in the structure of the foot or due to trauma caused in accidents.
There is also another type of neuropathy other than acquired and genetic neuropathy – 34%. Idiopathic neuropathy which accounts for 33% of neuropathy cases, the causes for which are unknown.
Because there are several causes for burning sensation in the feet, people often confuse the condition with:
- Hot feet while running or walking
- Athletes Foot
- Pins and Needles
Can the nerves regrow?
It is important to note that we don’t have any medicines that make nerves regrow. So if an axon is damaged, it can take a long time to regrow. Sometimes the axon itself won’t regrow. If the Myelin (outer protective layer of the nerve) is damaged, they grow back faster with treatment.
Drinking doesn’t aid in the regrowth of your nerves. In fact it can cause the neuropathy to increase and even spread over time.
It is also the same with being diabetic. If your diabetes is not in control, nerve regrowth can be hindered.
Beating peripheral neuropathy is possible for the majority of you out there. It just takes a simple step-by-step exercise and diet program to get rid of your burning feet.
If you feel any pain when performing the remedies mentioned in this article, I strongly suggest you visit a doctor immediately.
It is extremely important to get a good diagnosis for your condition. The most critical part for the treatment of burning feet is to know that every possible solution has been ruled out.
However, the home remedies for burning feet mentioned in this article should help you live pain free.