Tell me why my foot may be warm
November 6, 2012 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I feel like someone is holding a heating pad to the bottom of my right foot. What the hell?

You are not my doctor, I will be talking to my doctor, disclaimer, proviso, caveat emptor, etc.

The bottom of my right foot is warm. From the inside, not to the touch. It doesn't hurt, it doesn't tingle, it's not numb, it's just warm, like it is pressed against a heating pad or hot water bottle. It's just the bottom of my right foot, which in all other respects is identical to my left. It's not uncomfortable, but definitely has my attention.

Other people experience this, I'm sure. Any thoughts or explanations for why this happens?
posted by msali to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is an ongoing thing, or what? What's the intensity of the warmth?
Warm spots on feet usually indicate the oncoming formation of a blister. Have you been walking on a tilted sidewalk, or prefer that foot in some usually unnoticeable manner? What kind of socks are you wearing?
posted by MangyCarface at 9:05 AM on November 6, 2012

Peripheral neuropathy is another possible explanation. Do you have diabetes? That would make it more likely, though diabetes is certainly not the only cause of neuropathy.

Have you looked at your foot, all over including the bottom and between the toes? If it's a different color from your normal-feeling foot, that might indicate some kind of circulatory system issue. In any case, it's good to visually inspect your foot if your sensation is acting up, to make sure you don't have any cuts or blisters that you can't feel due to the weird heat sensation.
posted by vytae at 9:28 AM on November 6, 2012

Are you prone to stress somatization? I had kee-razy burning feet during an episode of job stress - just the weirdest thing. Some years later I read an article about anxiety which listed hot/burning feelings as a possible symptom. Also, oddly fitting shoes can cause this.
posted by Frowner at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2012

Muscles or fascia too tight around a sensory nerve? This is a thing. Sometimes it's very hard to find the correct stretch, and sometimes you don't know it's working for 1-3 days.

The book "Awareness Through Movement" by Feldenkrais is a huge pain to wade through, but it has stretches that worked for me that I have not seen anywhere else. I'm talking pain and tingling that I had for years, gone, when I thought I'd tried every stretch in existence.

Another good information source that has stuff I haven't seen anywhere else in one place is this dvd:

Sometimes you just need to regularly move your body in ways that you rarely move it (every 24-72 hours), and that takes some thinking, creativity, experimental contortions and twists, and intuition. If it "hurts so good" you're probably on to something.

Be careful!
posted by zeek321 at 10:18 AM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've had this happen to my back usually, sometimes in a leg, and I described it almost exactly the same way: it feels like there's a heating pad under the skin; you can touch the part of the body and feel the heat (it's not imagination). I mentioned it to my doctor, and he just kind of nodded and said, "yes, localized heat". He wasn't concerned. But that's because I have some major problems including metal in my spine and swelling/pain is common for me. The heat thing was new, though and it still takes me by surprise sometimes. I just chalk it up to my body trying to heal itself (although that's not TRUE, it's more like it feels hot due to swelling, I try to put a positive spin on it since the heat sensation isn't necessarily a bad feeling).

But YMMV, very much so, because localized heat can be caused by a lot of different things—just wanted to add my experience.
posted by Eicats at 10:55 AM on November 6, 2012

Thanks for all the great responses so far! To answer a few questions:

1) The heat is constant, intensity is low, like I am feeling a heating pad through a sock, along the bottom of my right foot. It started about a week ago and has yet to abate.
2) I am not walking in any way differently than I have before. Socks and shoes are the same.
3) I am not a diabetic.
4) I have examined the foot and compared it to the other, and there is no indication of redness or swelling.
5) I am not under any undo stress; I exercise and stretch regularly.
posted by msali at 11:28 AM on November 6, 2012

Just wanted to follow-up that with my localized heat thing (supposedly attributed to swelling, but I still suspect faulty nerves or something), there is no visible sign of swelling, nor any redness. Just fyi that the reaction can happen without those indicators. However, my experience with it, the heat sensation lasts maybe an hour, tops. It might come and go several times a day, but I've never had it last consistently for the length of time you've indicated. That doesn't mean it's not the same problem, but I think a week's length of time is sufficient to have a doctor see what's going on (if at all possible for you).
posted by Eicats at 12:19 PM on November 6, 2012

...have you tried taking ibuprophen or some type of inflammation reliever to see if it has any effect? Or even an antihistimine? If nothing else, it's data to give to a doctor.
posted by Eicats at 12:20 PM on November 6, 2012

posted by Addlepated at 4:23 PM on November 6, 2012
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 6:50 PM on November 7, 2012

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