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The tarsal tunnel is the canal that forms between a part of the ankle bone, at the bump on the inside of your ankle, also called the medial malleolus, and a band of ligaments across the foot called the flexor retinaculum.
The tarsal tunnel has nerves, tendons and arteries inside that allow movement and flexibility of your foot. One nerve inside the tarsal tunnel is called the tibial nerve, which gives the sensation you get at the bottom of your foot. However, when this nerve is compressed or pinched, you may suffer from a condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as posterior tibial neuralgia.
Common causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome are the natural shape or mechanics of your feet, an injury or a disease:
People with tarsal tunnel syndrome, often have the following symptoms:
You’ll most probably feel symptoms on the inside of your ankle and/or the bottom of your foot. Some people may experience a symptom that is isolated, that is just in one area and others, may have symptoms that stretch to the heel, toes, arches and the calf.
Some symptoms may be sudden, while others may progress with time and worsen due to activities such as prolonged standing, working out or walking. Starting a new exercise program without expert supervision or care may increase your risk too.
Early treatment is recommended because, if left untreated, the condition may worsen and cause permanent nerve damage. Sometimes symptoms for tarsal tunnel syndrome may be confused with other conditions, therefore, proper diagnosis is critical.
Conventional treatment methods for tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
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