Tarsal Tunnel

What is it?

Today, we are talking about tarsal tunnel, another cause of heel and foot pain.  You may have heard of carpal tunnel, which is common and is where a nerve gets entrapped in your wrist and you get numb and painful fingers.  There is something similar in your foot, where a nerve gets trapped around your ankle and you may feel pain and numbness going down your foot to your toes, or it can cause a lot of different symptoms.  Sometimes, it’s just heel pain.

Why do you have it in the first place? 

Sometimes, it’s because your feet are rolling in and it’s stretching that nerve.  Other times, it can be some swelling in your ankle that is pushing on that nerve.  

What do we do about it? 

There are a few things. To deal with it, we start simple.  

  • We look at your shoes and want to bring those feet back out to get the stretch off that nerve, which helps to reduce the inflammation.  
  • Physical therapy can help reduce that inflammation, combining with custom orthotics or inserts.  
  • A cortisone injection may help reduce inflammation.

We always look at the two components:  reduce the inflammation and look at the cause, getting good shoes and stay in orthotics to prevent that from happening again.  
If none of those things work, there is a surgical release, but we do everything else before we get to that point.  

If you’re having any of these tarsal tunnel symptoms, come visit us and we can help.