Potential causes of a burning sensation in the little toe include physical injury, such as stubbing the toe; sitting in a fixed position for an extended period of time; wearing shoes that don't fit properly; and circulation disorders that restrict blood flow to the feet, according to Healthgrades. Peripheral neuropathy, a disorder that disrupts the functioning of peripheral nerves that relay signals between the brain, spinal cord and body, can also cause a burning sensation in the toes.
Doctors analyze the duration and course of the toe burning along with any other symptoms to diagnose the cause, explains Healthgrades. Additionally, doctors may order an electromyography, or EMG, to test muscle function and a nerve conduction study to measure the ability of nerves to transmit impulses, notes WebMD. Blood, urine and spinal fluid testing may also help doctors diagnose the cause of burning toes.
Neuropathy is the most common cause of burning feet, according to WebMD. Causes of neuropathy include diabetes, alcohol abuse, chronic kidney disease, low thyroid hormone levels and sarcoidosis. Medications that can cause neuropathy include chemotherapy drugs and HIV drugs.
In addition to causing burning and tingling sensations in the feet and hands, peripheral neuropathy can cause sharp jabbing pain, sensitivity to touch, impaired coordination, and muscle weakness or paralysis, states Mayo Clinic. Treatment for peripheral neuropathy may include the use of pain relievers, anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. Therapies such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin are also sometimes helpful.