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Burning legs: causes and treatments

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Burning legs: causes and treatments

It is common to experience burning legs during exercise or as a result of sunburn. Other medical conditions can damage nerves, resulting in a burning sensation.

It can be difficult to describe burning legs to a doctor.Heat, tingling, or numbness are all possible sensations. The sensation could be in one leg, both legs, a portion of the leg, or just the feet.

A doctor can make a diagnosis by describing the pain and its precise location. In this article, we will look at the possible causes and additional symptoms, as well as when you should see a doctor.


A burning sensation or pain in the legs can be caused by the skin, muscles, or nerves. Knowing where the pain is coming from can help you understand what’s causing it and get the right treatment.


Exercise that uses leg muscles can cause a burning sensation. This does not always indicate that the muscle has been injured.

The body requires more energy during exercise than usual. Because it is unable to take in enough oxygen to make energy, the body’s muscles take control.This produces lactic acid, which causes a burning sensation when it accumulates.

Running or an intense workout will frequently result in burning legs. The sensation should subside once the exercise is completed.

Muscles are frequently sore for a day or two after exercise. This occurs more frequently when the exercise is new or when a person’s fitness improves.


A leg injury is one of the most prevalent causes of discomfort.Muscle damage, in particular, can result in a burning sensation.

Muscle strain occurs when muscles stretch beyond their limits.This can cause a tear in the muscle.Exercise frequently causes muscle strain.A person may experience acute pain at the time of the injury, which may progress to throbbing or burning sensations. Swelling and bruising may occur in the afflicted area.The RICE method can be used to treat muscle aches and strains:

  • Rest. Exercise or put too much weight on the leg.
  • Ice. Swelling can be reduced with a cold pack wrapped in a cloth.
  • Compression. The leg is bandaged to keep it compressed.
  • elevation. Raise your leg above your heart.

Warming up before exercise and cooling down afterward can help prevent muscle strain.

Sunlight exposure

When applying sunscreen, it is easy to overlook the legs. A person may not be aware they have blistered their skin for many hours until they suffer physical discomfort.

Sunburn causes inflammation of the skin. For a short period of time, it may feel hot to the touch and cause a burning sensation. It is critical to cool the skin down in order to relieve pain and prevent further damage.

After a brief cooling shower or bath, apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel to the skin.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also be used to reduce inflammation. Moisturising the skin with aloe vera or a water-based cream can aid in the healing process.

Damage to the nerves

A type of nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy. It primarily affects the legs and feet, but it can also affect the arms and handsDiabetes is one of the leading causes of nerve injury.

Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, which harms the nerves and blood vessels that supply them. This can eventually lead to peripheral neuropathy.

The legs, feet, arms, and hands are affected. They may include the following:

  • a stinging or burning sensation
  • Numbness,
  • weakness, 
  • All these symptoms of pain include difficulty feeling pain or temperature changes.

People who have peripheral neuropathy may have difficulty detecting injuries such as blisters or sores.Early treatment can help prevent infections and other health issues.

Balance and movement can be affected by peripheral neuropathy, but physical therapy may help. Medication can aid in the management of pain.

Having a healthy blood sugar level can actually reduce nerve damage from escalating if diabetes is the underlying problem.

Thigh-burning discomfort

Meralgia paresthetica is the medical term for burning pain in the outer thigh. A large compressed nerve is causing the burning pain.

Burning thigh pain can be caused by trauma, swelling, or pressure on the leg. Weight gain, tight clothing, or work gear that presses against the body are all common examples.

Among the symptoms are:

  • Burning, numbness, or tingling in the outer thigh,
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • sensitivity to touch.

Typically, treatment focuses on resolving the source of the pain. Losing weight or wearing loose clothing can help relieve nerve pressure. In some cases, an injection may be required to reduce swelling.

Natural cures

Burning legs can be caused by injured muscles and damaged skin. Managing these health issues at home is usually simple.

Resting a strained muscle, applying ice to the injury, and raising the legal aid in the healing process.

Exercise-induced burning should subside quickly. Cooling down with some gentle stretches can aid in muscle recovery and the prevention of aches and pains.

Sunburned skin can benefit from a wrapped cold pack.

To relieve the burning sensation Moisturising the skin and shielding it from further sun exposure will also help the healing process.

When should you see a doctor?

Seek medical help if:

  • A burn develops blisters all over the body.
  • If the person experiences a fever, headache, confusion, or nausea.
  • Chronic tingling and numbness have no evident reason.
  • If burns worsen or do not improve within two days,

If a muscle injury does not improve with rest and home treatment, it may require medical attention. Seek medical attention if the pain or swelling worsens or if the person develops a fever.

Burning legs may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as nerve damage or burning thigh pain. Some medical terms

Temperature sensitivity can also be caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis. A doctor can assist in the diagnosis of underlying problems.

Injuries or damage to the muscles or skin are common causes of burning legs. Exercise and sun exposure are two common causes. These problems are usually treatable at home. Make time for rest and recuperation.

Some medical conditions can cause nerve damage or pressure on a nerve, resulting in a burning sensation.

What can cause foot nerve pain?

A pinched nerve or a chronic condition, such as diabetes, can cause nerve pain.

Any type of foot pain can have a significant impact on daily life, and untreated nerve pain can be devastating.

It may prevent a person from enjoying or completing their usual activities.

Learn about how nerve pain in the foot feels, what causes it, and what treatments are available.


Regardless of the cause, someone suffering from nerve pain in one or both feet may experience:

  • a sensation of burning, aching, or tingling
  • an electric shock sensation in the foot
  • The pain that worsens at night or during specific activities,
  • muscle weakness in the affected area

Furthermore, the same issue that causes nerve pain may also cause numbness.


The following medical conditions can cause nerve pain in one or both feet:

Baxter suffers from neuropathy.

A kind of nerve entrapment, Baxter’s neuropathy is a condition. The compression of the inferior calcaneal nerve, which is positioned right beneath the arch of the foot, 

The following are risk factors:

  • Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue between the heel bone and the toes.
  • Obesity,
  • bone spurs,
  • Flat feet, or fallen arches, are all symptoms of obesity.

Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is characterised by thickened tissues that compress nerves between the toes.

A person may experience pain on the bottom of their foot that worsens when they walk, especially if they are wearing tight high heels. The pain may subside while resting or after removing the shoes.

The pain could be burning, stabbing, tingling, or electric shock-like. Cramping may occur if it spreads to the back of the foot or legSome folks also report numbness between their toes.The most common causes of Morton’s neuroma, from trusted sources, include:

  • wearing small shoes.
  • Putting on high heels
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • The foot ligament thickens
  • High-impact sports or jogging can cause injuries to the front of the feet.
  • lipomas—lumps beneath the skin containing an overgrowth of fat cells.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome causes pain in the feet and legs as a result of compression of the posterior tibial nerve or the plantar nerves in the feet.

Researchers do not know how common this condition is because doctors frequently misdiagnose it.It appears to be more prevalent among females., however.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:

  • Sharp, shooting pain in the inner ankle and down the foot.
  • When flexing and moving the foot, it hurts.
  • tingling or burning sensation.

The symptoms may worsen at night, while walking or standing, or after exertion. After resting, the pain usually subsides.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes
  • sustaining a foot or leg injury.
  • Developing scarring after surgery
  • suffering from varicose veins
  • Possessing a ganglion cyst
  • Afflicted with lipomas

Neuropathy of the periphery

Numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the toes, feet, fingers, hands, or a combination of these areas are referred to as peripheral neuropathy. At night, the symptoms may worsen.

Furthermore, peripheral neuropathy can cause nonspecific symptoms such as difficulty moving the feet and carrying out fundamental tasks.

Researchers are still puzzled as to why some people develop peripheral neuropathy while others do not.

They have, however, identified conditions that increase the likelihood of developing peripheral neuropathy. Among these health concerns are:

  • Infections, 
  • nutrient deficiency, such as B12, 
  • alcohol use disorder,
  •  Diabetes,
  •  certain hereditary conditions, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which causes muscle tissue loss,
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition characterised by sudden muscle weakness,

Diabetes-related neuropathy

Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, can cause nerve pain in the toes and feet. According to Trusted Source, diabetic neuropathy affects more than 90% of people with diabetes.

Typically, nerve pain begins in the toes and surrounding areas before spreading to the rest of the feet and legs up the thighs.

Diabetic neuropathy symptoms include:

  • Toe or foot tingling, burning, stinging, or shooting pain
  • An electric shock sensation in these areas 
  • causes pain that usually worsens at night, causing sleep disturbances.
  • When touching the skin, there is pain.

The precise causes are still unknown to researchers. Some theories point to changes in blood vessels, metabolism, the immune system, or the sodium and calcium channels in the body.

Several factors increase the likelihood of diabetics developing neuropathy:

  • advancing age, 
  • experiencing diabetes over a longer time period,
  • drinking alcohol, 
  • using tobacco products.


Sciatica occurs when something damages or compresses the sciatic nerve, the body’s longest and widest nerve. It runs from the lower back to the buttocks and down the leg, ending just below the knee.

A herniated, or bulging, disc in the spine is the most common cause of sciatica.

Although sciatica usually affects the back, hips, and upper legs first, the pain can spread down the legs and into the feet and toes.

Sciatica symptoms include:

  • Buttock pain or a burning sensation in the buttocks, 
  • leg weakness 
  • leg and foot pain


The methods listed below can help relieve nerve pain in the feet.

Methods of providing home care

  • Using hot or cold packs, 
  • Resting,
  • ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain remedies (Advil), massaging the feet,
  •  wearing a splint for support

Also, prevent sitting or lying down or standing.

Some people find that wearing shoes with wide, soft soles and low heels relieves pressure on their feet and nerves.

However, for some people suffering from nerve pain, a firm sole may be more beneficial than a soft sole.

Medical procedures

The best approach is determined by the source of the nerve pain.

Doctors may prescribe the following medications to treat peripheral or diabetic neuropathy:

  • Medication for pain relief
  • Antidepressants
  • anticonvulsants

Deep tissue massages and corticosteroid injections may be recommended by a doctor in some cases to help manage symptoms, especially if the cause is sciatica.

If sciatica is caused by a hernia, abscess, or tumour, a doctor will usually refer the patient for surgery.

Physical therapy may also be recommended by doctors, as stretching and strengthening the legs and feet can help manage symptoms such as pain.

People suffering from nerve pain caused by conditions other than sciatica may benefit from surgery as well. If a person has tarsal tunnel syndrome, for example, treatment may include surgery to release a nerve. Trusted Source has a success rate of up to 96 percent.


The doctor begins by taking a history and examining the painful area. They might also ask for imaging, such as an ultrasound or an MRI.

If the doctor suspects a specific condition, such as peripheral or diabetic neuropathy, he or she may request a nerve conduction study or blood and other samples for lab tests.

When to See a Doctor

If a person’s daily activities are threatened by foot pain, they should consult a doctor.

This is especially important if an underlying condition like diabetes is causing the pain and other symptoms.

In summary,

nerve pain in the foot is usually caused by a compressed nerve or diabetes. A variety of health issues may be at work, and they all produce similar symptoms.

As a result, receiving a diagnosis is critical. It is especially important to see a doctor if the pain is getting worse or if home remedies aren’t working.

The doctor will collaborate with the patient to devise an effective treatment plan. When surgery is required, it has a high success rate.


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