Tips for Hot Feet and MS

One of these ideas just might help you find relief...

A while back, I wrote a blog about hot feet and multiple sclerosis (MS), since I had been feeling like my feet were almost on fire for a couple of weeks and told by the neurologist that it probably wasn’t an MS symptom. Not convinced, I asked people with MS if they ever experienced this and if they had any tips for dealing with this horrible sensation.

As it turns out, lots (and lots) of people with MS did suffer from hot feet.

I was relieved to hear that it wasn’t just me. I was thrilled to read (and try some of the) many tips that people shared on how they dealt with their hot feet.

Here are some of the tips that I received:

  • Best solution for me is to elevate my feet while lying down.
  • I rub my feet and legs with a lovely lavender lotion, and for some reason that helps. Try it!
  • I rigged up a solution for myself when my hot keep me from sleeping: I put on a pair of socks, then I put on another pair with a cold gel pack inside each one.
  • The ONLY thing that relieves this sensation is COLD: Putting ice packs on, getting into cold water, even just sitting splayed out on the wooden floors!
  • I wipe my burning feet with rubbing alcohol. I will hold the cold alcohol-soaked cloth on the bottom of the foot where the burning is the worst.
  • I find that the best relief is to get out of bed & soak my feet in a bucket of cold water for about 5 minutes. It sounds strange but it works for me.
  • I’ve been taking medication to help with the pain – pregabalin, the brand name is Lyrica (typically used for diabetics with nerve pain). I still feel the burning at times, but to a lesser extent.
  • Capsaicin cream (made from hot peppers) produces a temporary reduction in pain. It also helps me with the sensation of heat, but at times it burns – not something everyone with hot feet would want. You can usually find it in any large drugstore.
  • One thing that I have found to work is Sombra’s Original Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel. It’s a topical analgesic – I know the term “warm therapy” sounds counterproductive, but despite its title, when I first put it on it’s cold as ice and lasts longer than ice packs.
  • 1000 mcg of Vitamin B-12 and 1000 IU of Vitamin D sometimes help to diminish the red-hot burning sensation in my feet. Doesn’t take it away entirely, yet occasionally alleviates the feeling that I am walking on coals or hot pavement.
  • I too stick my feet out of the covers at night, but what I found works best is these gel soles I bought from Avon. I keep them in the fridge for whenever I need them. It says not to put them directly against your skin, but I do anyway and it feels marvelous!
  • I take 400 mg capsule of gabapentin (generic form of Neurontin) 3 times/day, every 8 hours (while awake) for the burning sensation in my shins and feet (which is a form of nerve pain). It helps A LOT! Also helps with the pain associated with MS hug.
  • I do a restorative yoga pose called “Legs Up the Wall” that helps me deal with this pain, along with helping calm the nervous system, reduce ankle swelling, and renewing my energy. These online instructions come closest to how I do the pose at home. In fact, Eric Small, a long-time yoga teacher who has had MS for years, considers this pose the most essential one for people with MS. I should do it more often than I do!
  • I have had this intermittently for years. I use peppermint foot cream, the kind that leaves a cool feeling. If that doesn’t work, I use BioFreeze gel on the bottoms of my feet. It works surprisingly well.
  • I have found that if I get up and take two aspirin that in about 20 minutes they cool off and I can go to sleep.
  • I used to have hot feet at night and it was hard to sleep. By chance, I stopped drinking alcohol for a few months and the hot foot problem went away. Honestly, I did not notice that it had gone away until I drank some red wine during a New Year’s celebration and got hot feet that night!
  • Something that worked for me really well was switching from synthetic bed linens to cotton sheets – it made quite a difference.
  • I placed a thin piece of plywood under my side of the bed. This helped big time. It appears, for me, that I cannot lie on a soft surface while trying to sleep. While the fire in my feet did not go away … it made it so that I could sleep.
  • As I’ve cut down my sugar intake (that’s sugar in all its forms) to almost zero each and every day these days, when I do have sugar I notice the big effect it has on my body. In certain forms (e.g. ice cream), the sugar creates the burning feet. I would suggest you try changing your diet and experimenting with the relationship between your symptoms and your food intake.
  • Soak a pair of cotton (athletic) socks in water, rinse out any extra water and put them on. The evaporation effect will cool the feet.
  • I have been using a product called a Chillow at night. I leave it at the foot of the bed under the covers and when I get too hot, I just lay my feet on it and it cools me down. The Chillow is filled with water and seems to absorb a lot of heat. You can buy on the internet. I also have a couple of other thinner cooling mats that I got at Walgreens. I keep them under my pillow and pull them out when I get hot and lay them under my torso. I rotate them if I wake up and I am still too hot. I have been sleeping much better lately.
  • So here’s what I discovered works very well for hot feet. Slather on Noxema, cover with a sheet only, point a fan at your feet on high and tada….coolness.
  • I suffer from the same hot feet and the only way to get it better is to apply Tiger Balm. I sleep like a child.
  • I am now in my sixties and have suffered with Hot Foot for many years, probably three or four night a week at any time of year. My first recourse is to put just my feet outside the duvet. Most time this works, but when it doesn’t I use a very cold spray made just for that purpose. It is called Daktarin Aktiv Ice Cooling Spray (a UK product). 
  • I found that along with feet off the edge of the bed, the YOGA toe separators seemed to help.

Bottom Line: Whether your neurologist believes that your hot feet are linked to your MS or not, the fact is that he or she can’t really do much for you (besides prescribing some drugs for diabetic neuropathy). It is worth it to try some of these tips to see if you may find relief at home.

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