What is Nerve Entrapment in the Foot?
Nerve entrapment is also called pinched nerve and can occur at any part of the foot. Nerve entrapment can be caused by pressure due to swelling or tight shoes, or because of blunt trauma. This condition can cause pain and sensitivity in the affected part of the foot.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Nerve entrapment is also commonly caused by a condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome. Here, the posterior tibial nerve gets entrapped as it enters the foot through the tarsal tunnel in the ankle area. Symptoms are tingling and burning sensations, shooting pain, foot cramping and numbness. These symptoms can worsen while resting or sleeping.
Treatments for Nerve Entrapment in the Foot
The following treatments can help to heal nerve entrapment in the foot. Surgery should only be considered as a last resort if the below treatments fail to be effective.
- First, identify the cause of the nerve entrapment. Repetitive activity or injury can cause inflammation which can entrap the nerve.
- Introspect about your recent activities and zoom in on factors like trauma, athletic endeavors, shoe wear, etc. Once the cause is identified, work towards changing it to treat the nerve entrapment.
- Take as much rest as possible. Runners should reduce their miles and try to avoid hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. Instead, they should run on softer surfaces like grass or sand.
- Consult a podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist to get effective remedies to cure your condition.
- The specialist may advise you to use orthotics such as shoe inserts or arch supports. He/she may also ask you to take anti-inflammatories to improve the condition.
- If there is no improvement, discuss the possibility of injecting a steroid into the affected nerve.
- As advised earlier, surgery should only be the last option. It is highly successful when the nerve entrapment is caused by a mass lesion which needs to be removed. But if the causes of the nerve entrapment are such that the condition can re-occur, then surgery will not help much.
The condition of nerve entrapment in the foot can be easily treated by following the above remedies. Do not neglect or ignore it, which would worsen the symptoms. Identify the root cause and take care to ensure it does not lead to recurrence of the problem.
For more information on Tarsal tunnel syndrome and how to treat it, please watch this video: