Treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Nerves are very sensitive by design, as they often need to pick up on minute details and stimuli. But this sensitivity can cause significant problems if a nerve becomes compressed, trapped, or otherwise stressed.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is one such cause of nerve pain in the feet and lower legs, and the doctors at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates can help you find the relief you need.

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow section within the ankle, surrounded by bone and soft tissue. The posterior tibial nerve passes through the tunnel, and under normal circumstances, it can glide within it smoothly, without any inhibitions.

However, certain situations can cause the posterior tibial nerve to become entrapped or compressed within the tarsal tunnel, causing irritation and inflammation.

What Does Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Feel Like?

The symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome may differ in certain ways from patient to patient. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the feet, ankles, or lower leg that can range from mild to severe
  • Tingling sensations
  • Electric sensations, as if being shocked
  • Burning sensations
  • A feeling of numbness or a loss of sensation in the foot, ankle, or toes

Please note that not all of the above symptoms must be present in every case of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

In most cases, symptoms are more likely to manifest or worsen during or after physical activity. In more severe cases, however, symptoms may still be significant while sitting or lying down.

Whatever symptoms you may be experiencing, never delay in scheduling an appointment with us if you suspect nerve-related pain or discomfort.

What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are several different reasons why tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur. Among the more common are repetitive stresses or injuries (often caused by physical activities or work) that place excess pressure on the posterior tibial nerve, which can cause it or surrounding tissue to swell and entrap the nerve.

Other potential factors that may contribute to tarsal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having past foot or ankle injuries, such as sprains or fractures
  • Having flat feet, high arches, or other abnormalities in foot structure
  • Having scar tissue, cysts, tumors, or other masses that can press on the nerve
  • Neuropathy caused by diabetes or other disorders

Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome (and many other nerve-related conditions) will always be better than trying to ignore the problem. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of nerve damage becoming more severe and leading to even worse symptoms.

A proper course of treatment will always start with a full evaluation to determine the source of the problem and any underlying factors. We may ask you questions regarding your activities, how much time you spend on your feet, and what kinds of shoes you wear as part of our examination.

If tarsal tunnel syndrome is confirmed, we may first pursue conservative forms of treatment. These may include:

  • Rest (keeping excess weight off the affected area)
  • Cold therapy
  • Multilwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy to promote pain relief and recovery
  • The use of custom orthotics or braces to redistribute excess weight away from the area
  • Stretching and physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections

Conservative treatments tend to be effective in relieving symptoms. However, cases that are more severe or persistent may require advanced treatment or a surgical procedure, such as a tarsal tunnel release.

Find Relief from Tarsal Tunnel Pain

Do not let tarsal tunnel syndrome and any other causes of nerve pain hinder your enjoyment of daily life. There are tools and treatments that can help you find relief, and we can guide you on a path to optimal results.

Schedule an appointment at our Commerce Township office by calling (248) 360-3888 or by filling out our online contact form.


It's Time To Leave Foot & Ankle Pain Behind!

*NOTE:  Appointment request times are not guaranteed, nor do they constitute a scheduled appointment. Once you submit your request, a member of our staff will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your appointment time. For your safety and privacy, please do not submit any Protected Health Information (PHI) through the contact form found on this page.

Phone Number


9640 Commerce Rd Suite 102 Commerce Township, MI 48382


Monday 8:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday By Appointment
Saturday - Closed -
Sunday - Closed -

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