To understand tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is important to understand the anatomy of the area it affects. There is a small passageway inside the ankle known as the tarsal tunnel. This passageway is connected to soft tissue and bone. There are tendons, blood vessels and nerves that run through this tunnel. One of these nerves is the tibial nerve.
When the nerve is squeezed or compressed as it passes through the tarsal tunnel, this may damage the nerve or its branches. When this happens, it leads to the painful condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Engaging in light exercises at home is one of the ways of dealing with tarsal tunnel syndrome naturally. However, before you begin doing the exercises, you should do a proper warm-up to prevent injury to the nerve, strain on tendons and muscles. Here are some of the exercises;
- Ankle rotation – Just like all other parts of the body, exercising the ankles helps to keep them strong. For this exercise, sit on a chair and shake your ankles for a few seconds. After this, rotate the ankles gently clockwise about four to five times then repeat the same with counterclockwise motion.
- The pencil lift – The pencil lift is done by placing a pencil on the floor then picking it up with the toes and holding it for about ten seconds. You should repeat this exercise, relaxing after every round.
- Sitting calf and heel stretch – This exercise is suitable for loosening tight leg muscles. You should sit down with your knee straight and with a towel placed around the ball of the injured foot. Gently pull the towel back until your upper calf is stretched. Hold then release and relax before repeating the process.
- Heel stretch and standing calf – Place the foot affected by tarsal tunnel syndrome behind the other one with your toes pointing forward. Also, place your hands on a wall. Ensure the back leg is straight as you bend the front leg until the calf of the back leg is stretched. Hold for 10-20 seconds then relax before repeating the exercise.
Contact Southwest Foot & Ankle Center
If the pain and symptoms associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome persists, kindly give us a call at 972-318-2738 in Lewisville, 972-805-9985 in Plano or 972-318-2655 in Irving to schedule an appointment so you can get medical attention.