Do you have foot pain or numbness? You could have a condition known as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Massage Therapy and Bodywork are very effective in treating conditions arising from muscular and connective tissue abnormalities. In my San Antonio, Texas based Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice I often treat pain from various muscular and nerve entrapment syndromes including the supposedly rare Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Like many painful conditions Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome responds quite well to treatment by massage therapy and bodywork.
What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the name of a painful nerve entrapment condition, in which the posterior tibial nerve is placed under abnormal pressure by the connective tissue forming the tarsal tunnel at the inside of the ankle and the other structures in that space like tendons from lower leg muscles. When the muscle tendons passing through the tarsal tunnel become tight and enlarged, pain results from myofascial trigger points (knots) in the muscle, and pressure on the posterior tibial nerve which passes through the tarsal tunnel. Pain from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is usually found in the ankle, heel, and sole of the foot. Additionally, there may be numbness or a pins and needles feeling in sole of the foot and sometimes the toes. Most of the time the symptoms are on one affected side, but may affect both sides at the same time.
What is the cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are a number of causes for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Some causes of this condition prevent massage therapy from being the best method of treatment. However, there are other causes of this painful syndrome that make massage therapy one of the best methods of treatment. These causes include direct blunt trauma to the inside of the ankle near the tarsal tunnel itself; ankle sprains of the inner ankle are a common cause of this syndrome; and, this syndrome may also be caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress of the flexor muscles of the lower leg especially when fallen arches and/or over pronation is present.
Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
There are many ways that massage therapy and bodywork can be used to treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. The massage therapist will employ a number of techniques to relieve the condition. For example the massage therapist may use Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy to eliminate myofascial trigger points and associated tension in the flexor muscles whose tendons pass through the tarsal tunnel. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release adhesions between the flexor retinaculum forming the tarsal tunnel and the tissues passing through the tunnel while also using Muscle Energy Techniques to gently lengthen the same muscles to reduce tension in the tissues. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome also responds well to positional release therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy which work with the body’s nervous system to release muscles and improve joint movement in the area – especially in the subtalar joint and arch of the foot. Comprehensive treatment with massage and bodywork, in conjunction with a home program of stretching and exercise, may help to completely resolve Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
Other Treatments for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
While massage therapy and bodywork are an excellent treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome there are other treatments you should discuss with your physician:
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
Functional Foot Orthotics
Dorsal Night Splint
Other Names for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The information on this page has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. There are a number of serious conditions that are similar Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome that could require immediate medical attention.
If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice or contact a Massage Therapist near you.