All Heel Pain is Not Plantar Fasciitis

You may have heard people telling you that if you have heel pain, it is plantar fasciitis. The term is used almost interchangeably with heel pain. But the fact is that all heel pain is not plantar fasciitis. It can also be due to other causes such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, which has been described here.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS), also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and appears as a painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. The tarsal tunnel is a space along the inside of your ankle where nerves, tendons and blood vessels go through a small “tunnel” in your ankle (hence the name tarsal tunnel).

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome — Signs and Symptoms

The pain in Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can appear as numbness, burning, sharp, shooting and/or tingling sensation on the bottom of the foot. This occurs when nerves going through the tarsal tunnel are getting compressed or irritated.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome — Causes

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be the result of an injury, disease, or due to the natural shape of the foot. Some of the possible causes include –

· space occupying soft tissue lesions such as tumors

· trauma

· extra bone growth

· enlarged veins (varicose veins)

· repetitive stress or repeatedly performing the same motion in the feet

· flat feet or fallen arches which can produce strain or compression on the tibial nerve

· swelling due to an ankle sprain which is compressing the nerve

· diseases such as arthritis or diabetes which can cause swelling and hence nerve compression

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome — Treatment

The treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome consists of rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroid injections and using orthotics (braces, splints, other devices) in cases of any biomechanical deformities, to reduce pressure on the foot and limit movement that could cause compression on the nerve. In cases of tarsal tunnel syndrome where the conservative treatment does not yield any positive outcome, surgery may be recommended.

The tarsal tunnel surgery or tarsal tunnel release is done to decompress the nerve within the tarsal tunnel and to remove any lesion that may be taking up space in the tarsal tunnel.

If you are suffering from heel pain, get it evaluated by an experienced podiatrist in San Diego so that it can be treated properly. Remember, not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

To consult a good foot doctor or podiatrist in San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619–333–8114. Pacific Medical Care is a San Diego healthcare center that offers a broad suite of healthcare services, with the goal in mind of providing first rate care to treat the whole patient.

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