Q. Having pain in left leg, burning sensation in left foot and numbness in the left foot. What it could be?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 11, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 12, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a 46-year-old woman with dull pain in my left leg and a heat sensation in my left foot, which is on and off throughout the day. The problem has been there for the past two to three weeks.

I do not recall any injury which could have led to this problem. It just started suddenly. The heat sensation lasts only for one or two seconds. But it happens even when I move slightly, and there is no such problem with resting. I also have had early morning back stiffness for so many years.

Please advise on the cause and the remedy for the problem.



Welcome to

You mentioned heaviness in your left leg and a burning sensation, which we call paresthesia. Also, you have mentioned that you have back stiffness for many years. So, I presume that some nerve impingement may be causing these symptoms in your case.

Can you tell me whether you have any associated numbness, weakness, etc., in the affected extremity? Also, how far can you walk before you start feeling these symptoms? Do you have any associated history of fever, loss of weight, appetite, etc.?

I can advise you better if I have an idea about your neurological examination, like an assessment of motor power or sensory examination.

Also, I would like you to get an X-ray lumbosacral spine AP (anteroposterior) and lateral (flexion and extension) views, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) LS spine, and a few blood tests like CBC (complete blood count), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), CRP (C-reactive protein), and serum vitamin D and B12 levels.

When I have all the above information, I can advise you on the best way to proceed.

Hello doctor,

I do have some mild numbness in the left foot. Also, I would like to add that the back stiffness resolves during the day. Could it still be related to the heat sensation of the left foot? I have some problems with varicose veins in my left thigh, left ankle, and under my right knee. But, the problem is only in the left leg currently. Could this be linked to varicose veins?



Welcome back to

Since you have mentioned numbness, we have to rule out an impingement of a nerve in a foramen or somewhere, as the symptoms described by you are classic of them. Since you also have varicose veins, then you also have to be seen clinically to know how severe these varicose veins are. Also, this heat-like burning sensation is called paresthesias, which is also indicative of nerve involvement or rarely vascular. So, get yourself checked up by a vascular surgeon as to the severity of your varicose veins. As you have a history of long-standing back issues, X-rays and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) will be of help in understanding whether there is any canal compromise or impingement of a nerve. In any case, kindly get back once you have done your radiological investigations and other blood tests.

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