What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
The tarsals are the long boes of the foot. Just below the bony bit on the inside of the ankle (medial malleolus) is a passage where two nerves run. These nerves are called the medial and lateral plantar nerves. If you over pronate (your foot rolls in when you walk or run as shown ) then pressure is put on these nerves which can become inflamed causing tarsal tunnel syndrome.
What are the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome?
Pain (possibly sharp) radiating into the arch of the foot, heal and sometimes the toes.
- Pins and needles or numbness may be felt in the sole of the foot.
- Pain when running.
- Pain when standing for long periods of time.
- Tapping the nerve (just behind the medial malleolus) may reproduce pain. This is known as Tinel’s Test .
What can the athlete do about tarsel tunnel syndrome?
- Apply Cold Therapy in the acute (painful and inflamed stage).
- See a sports injury professional who may prescribe a rehabilitation programme.
- If the athlete is over pronating then they should see a specialist and have some orthotics fitted. You wouldn’t build a house without getting the foundations right so why do it with your body.
What is Entrapment of the Medial Calcaneal Nerve?
When there is excessive over pronation or pressure from shoes then the medial nerve can become trapped. Pain will radiate from the inside of the heel out towards the centre of the heel.
What can a sports injury specialist do?
A sports injury specialist could advise you to rest. They may apply heat such as ultrasound. If this does not work then a surgeon might be able to operate on it.