Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
This is part of the category of nerve compression syndromes, which also include the carpal, radial and cubital tunnels. The symptoms are common and include numbness, alterations in sensitivity and pain in the anterior tibial nerve around the neck of the foot. The disorder is caused by traumas and footwear with heels that are too high, and it may also be the consequence of flat feet or a high instep.
Treatment usually involves immobilisation of the limb to distend the nerve, decompressing it from the pressure affecting it. If this is not sufficient, surgery is necessary.
A mixture of phototherapy, ultrasound and magnetotherapy complemented by TENS, if desired.
Method of action
Ultrasound treatment increases the ‘stretchiness’ of muscles and tendons that may be tight. This form of therapy helps to build new tissue and ensure the proper alignment of the tissue fibres so that full strength and flexibility can be restored. In the case of a chronic illness, ultrasound can slow the development and help to manage symptoms.
Ultrasound therapy can:
- Provide an analgesic effect.
- Improve blood flow and restore normal cell activity to produce an anti-swelling effect.
Phototherapy — infrared
Since infrared therapy enhances and improves circulation in the skin and other parts of the body, it can bring oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues and promote healing. It helps to ease pain, relieve inflammation and protect against oxidative stress.
Magnetotherapy offers an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effect on top of its ability to reduce pain and improve blood circulation.
The electrical impulses reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain by temporarily ‘switching off’ the nerve endings of the affected area — thus, helping to relieve pain and relax the muscles. These impulses also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.