The tarsal tunnel is a canal linking part of the ankle bone, to a set of ligaments which span the foot.
When one of these important nerves, called the tibial nerve, becomes compressed, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome results.
The tibial nerve is what enables you to experience sensations along the bottom of your foot. It also works with the muscle of your calf to make flexing the foot and toes possible. The tarsal tunnel and tibial nerve play a vital role in your ability to stand, walk and run.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can occur at any age, but specific factors may make you more prone to developing this condition:
>>arthritis, that causes swelling. Swelling can result in the tibial nerve becoming compressed in the foot.
>>A physical anomaly, such as a swollen tendon, a heel spur, a ganglion cyst or a varicose vein. These physical abnormalities can result in nerve compression.
>>Conditions such as fallen arches or flat feet can trigger compression of the tibial nerve.
>>An irregular gait that puts undue pressure on the tarsal tunnel.
>>Participation in high-impact sports such as running and basketball.
>>An injury to the ankle bone, such as a sprain, which results in nerve compression.
>>obesity ,weight lifting ,heavy lifting over long period
If you are experiencing prolonged numbness in one or both heels and have noted that any of the above factors apply to you, you should seek medical attention to receive an expert diagnosis.
You need tests, including an EMG, X-ray, CT or MRI in order to reach a diagnosis. Depending upon medical findings, you will then be able to explore a variety of treatment options.
Treatment options include :
>Resting the foot; abstaining from activities that put pressure on the tarsal tunnel
>The use of anti-inflammatory medicines, as prescribed by a doctor
>The use of steroid injections, under the care of a physician
>The use of orthotics, such as braces, splints or inserts, at the recommendation of a doctor
>if no response ,surgery is done
other causes might include and are related also to the above condition are :
>heel spurs, a condition in which calcium deposits form underneath the heel bone. Heel spurs are caused by strains and repeated wear and tear of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Risk factors include running on hard surfaces, obesity and gait abnormalities
>Trapped nerves are often caused by fractures or sprains. Symptoms include pain, numbness and tingling sensations inside or surrounding the heel area. If the trapped nerve is the result of a sprain or fracture, additional symptoms such as bruising or swelling often accompany the numbness and tingling sensations.
>stress fractures cause pain and numbness in or around the heel area. Stress fractures are caused by continual traction of the planter fascia, the ligament on the bottom of the foot that supports the arch. Stress fractures are common in women with osteoporosis. The nerves along the side of the foot become irritated due to inflammation and thickening of the plantar fascia causing burning and numbness. Stress fractures are typically treated with cast boots. Heel numbness is also a sign of back problems.
Therefore a tarsal tunnel syndrome beside other causes might be depending on symptoms and risk factors ,So check with a neurologist and make the further tests for proper diagnose and proper treatments .