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“My feet burn and go numb when I am running, should I be concerned”?

That depends on how long the burning or numbness lasts. If your feet burn or go numb while running but then that feeling goes away within 5-10 minutes at the end of your run, then this likely indicates that your shoes aren’t fitting your feet well.

  • With repetitive motions such as running, using the elliptical machine or stair climber your shoe stops when it hits the surface, but if your foot slides forward too much inside the shoe then this can cause the nerves (on the bottom of the foot) to become agitated and feel a numb/burning sensation.
  • This will usually affect the entire bottom of both feet.
  • Trying a different style of shoe or lacing your shoes more securely should help.

If the numbness occurs in one foot and is more localized to the ball of the foot then you may have a neuroma.

  •  A neuroma is the thickening or inflammation of a nerve on the ball of the foot, leading to your toes
  • You may feel as though you are stepping on a pebble or as though there is a wrinkle in your sock.
  • Frequently you will feel an electric shock or numbness into your 3rd and 4th toes or your 2nd and 3rd toes. (think “I hit my funny bone” feeling).

Self care would include a wider toe box on your shoes or more cushioning at the front of your shoe.

Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for more than 30 minutes after your run or don’t resolve with altered shoes. The longer you run with a painful neuroma, the more aggressive professional treatment may need to be. It’s easier to treat early.