Self Care for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a tricky diagnosis and can be frustrating to treat. However, many patients do respond well to basic treatments that can be done at home.

 

To treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome:

1. Rest.

If you are a runner, walker or play a sport that involves running (whether straight ahead or mixed with side-side and cutting) take a two week break and switch to non-impact exercises such as a stationary bike or elliptical machine.

 

2. Anti-inflammatories. 

Take an oral anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) as directed on the bottle. 

 

3. Wear supportive footwear for all activities.

Wear supportive shoes such as a sturdy athletic shoe or sturdy comfort shoe like the ones shown below for all activities, including walking around the house and times when you otherwise go barefoot or wear sandals. 

 

4. Wear a foot orthotic device in your shoes. 

Wearing a foot orthotic in addition to a sturdy shoe will better control pronation (arch flattening) and reduce traction (stretching) of the irritated nerve.

 

5. Do "Contrast Soaks" at least once daily.

This treatment is an effective way to reduce swelling and inflammation.

  • Obtain two one gallon basins.
  • Fill one with warm water (NOT hot)
  • Fill the second with cool water (NOT cold)
  • Submerse the injured foot in the cool basin (water should be above the ankle) for 2 minutes. 
  • Switch to the warm basin for 2 minutes. 
  • Repeat back and forth, 2 minutes each, for a total of 20 minutes. 
  • Do one final soak in the cool basin for 2 minutes.

If after two weeks of this treatment you still have symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, see a podiatrist for a complete evaluation.