Most people have heard of carpal tunnel which is a compression of the medial nerve which affects the wrist and hand. Similarly, there is a common condition known as tarsal tunnel which affects the ankle and foot.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition of the foot caused by pressure on the posterior tibial nerve as it passes along a passage called the tarsal tunnel just below the bony bit on the inside of the ankle.
What are the Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
Typical symptoms of tarsal tunnel include numbness and tingling across the bottom of the foot, often at the sole or first toe. The onset is insidious and not associated with lower back or leg pain. This is an important differentiation from other conditions. If there is lower back or leg pain, the problem may very likely be originating from one of those areas and not necessarily the tarsal tunnel.
Sometimes it is initially mistaken for plantar fasciitis which also causes pain from the inside heel and throughout the arch of the foot. Neural symptoms (such as tingling or numbness) as well as the location of tenderness when touching the area should help to easily distinguish between the conditions.
What is the Tarsal Tunnel?
The tarsal tunnel itself is a tunnel formed by the flexor retinaculum and the following bones: the distal end of the tibia, malleolus, and calcaneus. The contents of the tunnel include the tendons of the posterior tibialis, flexor digitorum longus, and flexor hallucis and the posterior tibial artery, vein, and nerve.
It is the posterior tibial nerve may be stretched or compressed in the tarsal tunnel that causes the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Some of the things that can cause this compression include hyperpronation of the foot due to tightening of the flexor retinaculum. However, trauma, swelling and ganglions may also cause compression.
Treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
In order for a professional to determine if the problem is tarsal tunnel syndrome, neurologic testing would be performed. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, testing for nerve root involvement is negative. Numbness and tingling may be reproduced by tapping over the posterior tibial nerve just behind the medial malleolus or along a line that continues to the navicular tuberosity, continuing down into the medial arch.
Also, sensory deficit may occur in the medial or lateral plantar surface of the foot. Usually two point discrimination is decreased or hypoesthesia to pinprick are found. Motor weakness is less common.
Finding a Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Specialist in Augusta GA
Tarsal tunnel is a condition that typically can be managed and resolved effectively through our customized care as specialized Augusta GA chiropractors. If trauma or swelling is involved, our initial course of care is to reduce swelling with ice, compression, elevation and other specialized treatments such as cold laser. As one of the few clinics in the state of Georgia able to customize your chiropractic care with cold laser treatments, we have been able to successfully help patients with their Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. It is then critical in the resolution of tarsal tunnel syndrome that navicular, calcaneaus, and talus bones be aligned and functioning properly.
You can schedule a complimentary consultation with our office to find out if our customized treatments are the right fit for your condition.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractor Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for a chiropractor in Augusta GA and a chiropractor in Evans GA that specializes in customized treatments.
You can schedule your appointment by calling our friendly staff at (706) 814-5053 or use our online form.