Cold burning feet

It’s been cold this week, I’m now sporting three pairs of socks and my feet still feel cold! I don’t think it’s to do with circulation, more misfiring nerve-endings, which just scream ‘cold’. The odd thing is though is that I’ve been getting burning sensations in my feet… burning cold…

I find the cold weather (relative cold.. it’s about 7 Celsius) very difficult to cope with. My hands seem to go numb far more easily. Is this due to circulation, not to the extent of white hands, it’s not that cold, but maybe the blood supply to the nerves dips a bit with vessel constriction and triggers the areas of numbness, which follow all the same nerve pathways that are involved with pressure palsies.  My hands become a patchwork of numb areas.

The other thing with being cold is the shivering that inevitably ensues. I shake like a pneumatic drill, muscle spasms become quite violent. Could this also be due to poor muscle innervation, poor sensory feedback of muscular contractions, a poorly regulated closed loop control system. Not only that but the nerve dysfunction with HNPP is quite dynamic, changes can happen on the ‘fly’. Sudden changes of proprioceptive feedback, kinematic feedback and motor activation due to transient nerve conduction changes and conduction block.

I have just found this study online, which provides some very interesting insights into the nature of biologic motor-sensory feedback… this is really cool (getting back to the cold theme!!)

Frequency Control of Motor Patterning by Negative Sensory Feedback

Almost time for me to hibernate…

9 thoughts on “Cold burning feet

  1. Usually when I’m curious to know if the cold sensation is due to something neurologic or something circulatory, I place my foot on the opposite thigh. If my foot feels freezing cold then I assume it’s circulatory (which is usually the case for me)

    It seems like most people with HNPP experience the cold making their hands more likely to get numb/weak, but for me it has always seemed the complete opposite. I’m not sure why, my only guess is that in the warm weather, some sort of swelling occurs that puts pressure on the nerves which doesn’t happen in the cold weather.

    The burning cold sensation is a really strange feeling though. Sometimes I’ll feel it when my hands are numb/weak and I put them in warm water. Also, sitting in a hot spa always causes my feet to get a burning cold feel. I have to sit in the spa with my feet out of the water.

    • Hi Miles, I would agree with you about the heat causing tissue to swell and hence causing more nerve compression.
      Just as you say, I’ve noticed that most people find that cold causes most problems, but another smaller group find the opposite.
      Perhaps there are other factors involved which make either hot or cold temperatures problematic for some and not others, perhaps metabolism for example. One way or another temperature seems to make things worse, when at either extreme.
      There is a study which shows that nerve conduction increases as temperature increases, it is fairly linear within the comfort zone, so that might account for warm water improving hand symptoms to some extent.

  2. I don’t consider CMT a ‘rare disease’ at all. It is the most common inherited neurological disorder. Get the truth at CMTUS.

  3. Pingback: Heat, Blogs, frazzled nerves … the path of least resistance « Jon’s Slice Of Life

  4. okie dokie here we go. The cold feet has nothing to do with nerves however it has everything to do with tendons becoming rigid and blocking off the blood flow due to lack of collagen 1 and 3. Most people that have CMT also have bad digestion. Most have days and days of constipation followed by a few days of constantly have to Go. this is because of a lack of digestive enzymes and causes a cascading effect, In may yhr veins in my feet were under the skin and could not be seen and all the hair had fallen off the top of my feet and my feet were always ice cold. I started taking digestive enzymes also collagen 1 and 3 and after 2 weeks I could see the veins in my feet and hair started to regrow after 5 years of being gone. My digestion has returned to normal and my feet are no longer ice cold. Imagine that a simple thing like digestive enzymes causing such a miricle when doctors say there is no cure for CMT. All I can say is try it for 6 months and see what you think. Good Luck

    • Interesting, but as for taking supplements .. no thanks, just my own personal choice. And in my estimation I wouldn’t dismiss nerve mis-firing as being the cause but then we’re all different. I don’t know for sure, but I would imagine it would be multi-factorial for most of us, a different blend, another space in the spectrum.

  5. I’ve been working with a number of people who have CMT. I look forward to being more educated about the feet and what happens to circulation, stability etc. So far I’ve made custom shoes and boots that have very thin flat soles and have some ankle support. The feedback I get is very positive. Visit my site and see if you have any questions about how I can help you with footwear. Warmly, Sara

  6. Pingback: Feeling hot and cold with HNPP – HNPP Wellbeing

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