Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Pain in Top of the Foot
Tarsal tunnel is a space between bones and tough fibrous tissue in a human foot. Within this space, a posterior tibial nerve passes through from the back of the leg through the inner section of the ankle to the tunnel. Due to bones of the foot and tough surrounding fibrous tissues, the tibial nerve becomes pinched by the bones in the tunnel thus sending some sensory information to the brain resulting to a condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome therefore results when the tibial nerve becomes extremely compressed by the bones within the tunnel. Nerve compression is as a result of small room within the tunnel. The syndrome results to signs such as foot aching and heel numbness.
Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Up to date, the causes of tarsal tunnel are not yet established. Some of the possible causes of this syndrome have been associated with inflammation of the tissues surrounding tarsal tunnel. Once the tissues become inflamed, they swell thus increasing pressure in the tarsal tunnel compressing the nerve resulting to tarsal tunnel syndrome. Sometime, the surrounding muscles around the ankle area and
near the tarsal tunnel thicken following exercises such as running. Muscles and tendons thickening insert pressure to the tibial nerve thus result to tarsal syndrome.
Some doctors have suggested that tarsal tunnel syndrome could be caused by fractures of the foot, benign tumors and bone spurs which tend to insert pressure at the tunnel and onto the nerve.
Diagnosing Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Once a doctor suspects presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome, he or she conducts some quick physical diagnosis. After analyzing patient history through monitoring patients signs and symptoms, a tunnel test is performed for further diagnosis. This test involves tapping the skin zone of irritation which is directly above the tibia nerve. Presence of quick electrical pain indicates tarsal tunnel syndrome.
For further diagnosis, a doctor may opt for nerve impulse conduction test though the ankle. This is to determine how nerve impulses flow through the ankle. Slow impulse movement indicates presence of nerve compression.
Running and Top of Foot Pain
Top of foot pain is a complication that many individuals have been complaining of especially those who participates in running. Top of the foot contains many bones, nerves and ligament thus many factors contribute to pain in this area. Athletes tying shoes too tight and over using their feet tendons as they run on hard surface contributes to tendonitis a condition that causes pain near the toes and on top of the foot. Stretching muscles of the ankle during running increases pressure on the tarsal tunnel thus compressing the tibial nerve resulting in tarsal tunnel syndrome. This contributes to extreme pain on top of the foot.
Complications of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel is associated with a number of complications. Mild repetitive nerve traction may result. This complication contributes to nerve damage every time there is nerve traction. Other complications are based on treatment. Surgery to solve this syndrome may be accompanied by excessive bleeding and the resulting wound if not properly taken care of could be infected with bacteria.
Chronic foot pain contributes to foot dysfunction. Sometime, permanent foot damage may occur especially if the condition is not immediately taken care. This may contribute to a functionless foot and ultimately affecting walking.
Common exercises for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Preventive tarsal tunnel syndrome exercises facilitates in preventing nerve compression at the tunnel. This is by ensuring that the feet are strong through some exercises. This includes toe presses. Toe presses involve pressing the toes downward and standing on them. Others include toe spreading and toe lifting by spreading the toes wide and try to lift them one at a time while your feet remain flat on the floor.
For patients with tarsal tunnel syndrome, treatment exercises are very vital. This facilitates quick recovery and healing. During practice, it is important for patients to mind about their physical condition and thus starting exercises at a slowly pace with fewer repetitions every time. Foot and ankle stretching may facilitate quick recovery from this syndrome.
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