On the inside of the foot just below ankle bone is a pathway called the tarsal tunnel. It contains a bundle of fibers made up of arteries, tendons and nerves. When this area suffers from any sort of compression, it can cause an irritation within the tibial nerve, resulting in a myriad of sensations along the inside and bottom of the affected foot, including numbness, tingling, burning and pain. Often referred to as simply tarsal tunnel syndrome, this condition often responds quite favorably to natural care.
Most people suffering from tarsal tunnel syndrome can usually find relief by putting into place natural, self-care measures. As soon as you experience any of the sensations linked to the condition, ice the area just below the ankle of the foot. By icing the area for 20 minutes at a time several times throughout the day, you are reducing the inflammation of the tarsal tunnel and reducing pain.
After you have iced the foot, wrap the ankle and arch of the foot with an elastic bandage to immobilize the area. Immobilizing the area restricts movement, so apply the bandage firmly, yet not so tight as to restrict the circulation of blood. An elastic bandage should keep you from moving the ankle, lessening the potential of further injury. However, you may also want to consider immobilizing the area with an ankle brace, especially when the pain is more severe or the condition has become recurrent, as these devices often lessen pressure within this area of the body.
Once immobilized, elevate and rest the affected foot. Both of these steps can go a long way to lessening both inflammation and pain as well as promote healing. Make sure that resting does not entail complete cessation of activities, as you’ll want to maintain your strength, so engage in low-impact activities after periods of rest and then follow-up with further icing.
Other Methods of Natural Care
Consider investing in custom shoe inserts. These devices better support the arch and can correct improper movement of the foot that may be causing the compression. Podiatrists and other medical professional can properly fit you for custom shoe inserts, so make an appointment as soon as possible to help treat the condition.
You may also want to talk to a physical therapist. This medical professional can help reduce the pain associated with the tarsal tunnel syndrome and come up with specific exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of your ankle as well as employ other techniques to treat the condition.