The most likely cause of burning foot pain is nerve damage, but there are other causes as well, such as athlete's foot, poor circulation and vitamin deficiencies, according to WebMD. Nerve damage in the feet is most commonly due to diabetes or excessive alcohol intake. If the cause of the pain is not nerve damage, there are tests that a doctor can perform to diagnose the actual cause in order to treat it.
Nerve damage in the legs and feet, also called neuropathy, causes nerve fibers to become overactive and misfire. This results in the brain receiving a pain signal even though there is no injury to the foot, explains WebMD. An early sign of neuropathy is numbness and tingling in the legs or feet, often with an oversensitivity to touch as well. Prompt diagnosis helps prevent the neuropathy from worsening.
The primary goal of neuropathy treatment is to prevent further nerve damage, says WebMD. Treatment of the underlying disease may be enough to improve the pain symptoms, whether they are due to neuropathy or another medical condition. Pain medication is also useful in managing these symptoms. Usually over-the-counter medications are sufficient for pain relief; however, extreme pain may require prescription pain relievers, including narcotics.