Burning Skin and Spinal Nerve Root DiseaseBurning Skin and Spinal Nerve Root Disease

My face, outer ears and the backs of my ankles have been burning and I don't know why! I do have discoid lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, I don't even know which one it could be. I don't go outside very much, especially when the suns out. I hardly get to go anywhere-due to other problems I'm having. If anyone can tell me how to get rid of this burning feeling please please let me know. I've tried ice, ibuprofen, aleve, you name it I've tried it. The ONLY thing that helps is to have my fan blowing on me but, although the backs of ankles burn, my legs and feet are cold inside pretty much all the time and yet my upper body pours sweat. I just don't know what to do about all of this. Its tiring!!

Second Question:
Almost 3 yrs ago I had to have lower spine surgery. Beforehand, my neurosurgeon said that I have a disease in my nerve roots in my lower spine and that he can "fix" them during the op. Well, after the lower spine effusion surgery he said it was alot worse then what the MRI pics looked like and he couldn't do anything with it. I was wondering if it can/will spread?

Answers from our Doctors

tshaver's picture
Dr. Timothy S. Shaver says:

First question: Without seeing you face to face, I cannot answer your first question with certainty. Diffuse burning of the skin is not a typical symptom I would associate with rheumatoid arthritis. If the sensation of burning is not associated with any rashes, it would also be less likely to be due to discoid lupus. Some people will have these symptoms if they have underlying blood disorders (polycythemia vera, e.g.) or nervous system disorders (dysautonomia, e.g.). If there is flushing associated with the burning, certain medications (Niacin) or hormone-associated tumors (carcinoid syndrome) can cause these symptoms. Basically, I don't believe this to be a rheumatology problem. If you have not had a basic evaluation through your primary care doctor, I would start there.

Regarding the 2nd question, nerve compression in the spine due to bone spurs, disc disease, or scar tissue can spread or worsen but does not always do so. Worsening of the nerve pinching could occur at the same level or at different levels if there is degeneration elsewhere. If you develop any new symptoms that radiate down your legs (for the lower back) or arms (for the neck), you should have this problem re-evaluated. To prevent further deterioration of the spine, low-impact exercise to strengthen the core muscles and weight loss if indicated would be good strategies.

Answered on: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 19:28


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