Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the posterior tibial nerve is compressed and sensation to the foot is compromised. The posterior tibial nerve is located in the tarsal tunnel, which is the space on the inside of the ankle that lies next to the ankle bone. The purpose of this “tunnel” is to protect the arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves whose jobs are to provide the foot with movement. When this nerve is compressed you may begin to feel uncomfortable symptoms that are similar to those experienced by carpal tunnel syndrome patients.
The cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is anything that squeezes, or compresses, the posterior tibial nerve. Things such as flat feet, ganglion cysts, injury to the ankle, diabetes, and arthritis can all lead to nerve compression. If the shape of the foot is changed in any way, then the nerve is likely to become compressed within the tunnel. If you are feeling symptoms such as numbness or a tingling sensation you should consult a physical therapist or medical doctor so that they can help you take care of the pain.
The diagnosis will usually include a doctor tapping on the nerve in an effort to see if there is pain involved with this process. If there is pain, a doctor will give you a few non-surgical options for you to try out. Applying ice to the Tarsal Tunnel and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can relieve some of the pain you may be feeling. By combining two different treatments, such as wearing supportive shoes while also taking an anti-inflammatory drug, you will be more likely to see positive results. Doctors may also advise you to seek the help of a physical therapist, or another type of specialist, in hopes of reducing the pain. A physical therapist will help by rehabilitating the ankle, through stretching and cold therapy, and making sure that the pain subsides in a timely manner. Surgery may become necessary in the case of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, but many times non-surgical treatments will remove the compression.
We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montogmery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Ferndale. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona. If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County. Give us a call today!