What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and How Can You Treat It?

While some health issues are commonly known, others go under the radar somewhat, and it’s fair to say that tarsal tunnel syndrome is in the latter group. Today, you’re going to learn all about the problem, the symptoms, and possible treatments. 

What’s Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome? 

Rather than something that occurs overnight, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs over a period. After repeated pressure, the posterior tibial nerve is damaged. If you’re struggling to picture the posterior tibial nerve, it’s close to the ankle. Look at a diagram of your leg and you’ll see that the tibial nerve branches off and away from the sciatic nerve. 

Why is it called tarsal tunnel syndrome? Because the tibial nerve passes through a narrow passageway called the tarsal tunnel. This passageway is inside the ankle and protected by soft tissue and bone. When the tibial nerve is damaged, it’s normally a result of continual pressure which, in turn, causes compression. 

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms 

Do you have tarsal tunnel syndrome? Before we explore the treatment options, it’s important to look at the symptoms. After reading through the list, you might find that you have a different problem instead. If ever you’re unsure, remember to speak with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. 

In truth, the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome are also symptoms of other problems, and this is why it’s sometimes difficult to diagnose. For example, you’re likely to suffer from numbness, pain, and tingling along the tibial nerve. However, this pain can also travel inside the ankle and to the underside of the foot. 

While some think of it as an electric shock, others describe a burning sensation, sharp pain, pins and needles, and other issues. Depending on the extent of the problem, some people experience a quick progression of symptoms while others feel the problem worsening over many weeks. 

Ultimately, the important thing to note is that everybody is unique. For example, those who exercise regularly may feel the pain worsening after runs, gym sessions, tennis sessions, etc. Meanwhile, others can feel tingling as they try to sleep at night. 

Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome 

Now that you understand the problem a little more, how will medical professionals approach the problem? Can you treat tarsal tunnel syndrome? Fortunately, those who get treatment early have a good chance of either curing or managing the issue. Regardless of the circumstances, you need to speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you only suspect the problem, early treatment increases the chances of overcoming it. 

Primarily, doctors will recommend Brisbane podiatry from Walk Without Pain. Services like this have experience and expertise when it comes to the ankles and feet. After an initial consultation, the professionals will create a treatment plan and aim to remove all pain either through fixing the problem or managing the condition effectively. 

Naturally, doctors will also recommend anti-inflammatory medications. While these are good for removing inflammation, they only offer a temporary respite and don’t treat the underlying cause of the issue. Therefore, it’s best to also contact a podiatry service for real treatment. You can also reduce swelling by following RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation. 

In serious cases, doctors may want to perform tarsal tunnel release surgery. Here, they will release the ligament and, by extension, the nerve after a small incision behind the ankle. Ultimately, the treatment you receive depends on the extent of the problem and the level of pain experienced. 


Ritika is renowned Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Specialist and contributing writer for ABOUT INSIDER. She enjoys covering current events and writing about celebrities, health, and fashion.

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