Hi there, Dr. Warner here –
As an orthopedic surgeon, I work with patients regularly to define and solve their particular foot pain. Many of my patients complain of plantar fasciitis pain – the intense, stabbing heel pain that many of you may be familiar with.
But many times, following my evaluation, they discover that they are not, in fact, dealing with plantar fasciitis but tarsal tunnel syndrome.
WHAT IS TARSAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Tarsal tunnel syndrome and the pain associated with it is caused by the compression of the posterior tibial nerve in your ankle. This compression can radiate pain, numbness, or even a burning sensation to other parts of the foot. If you know anybody that's had carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, or if you have had carpal tunnel syndrome, it is the exact same entity that occurs below or at the ankle.
One of my common procedures is performing a tarsal tunnel release – a surgery that releases the nerve that runs to the heel in order to alleviate nerve compression. The symptoms of this nerve compression exactly mimic the pain of plantar fasciitis.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR RELIEF?
If your pain is caused by a higher nerve compression near the ankle, you may consider seeking therapy and certain medications for relief. Make sure your vitamin B12 levels, D3s, and omega-3s are all on par and that you don't have just a hereditary compression neuropathy.
If you've had long-term heel pain that just doesn't seem to be responding to any treatments, that may be what you have, and you should consider having your condition professionally reevaluated.
RELIEVE PAIN WITH THE HEALING SOLE
The Healing Sole can provide you with a non-surgical method of relief that fits easily into your lifestyle.
I invented The Healing Sole to reduce foot pain and promote overall foot health. While not specifically designed for tarsal tunnel, The Healing Sole footwear incorporates a rocker bottom sole that works to alleviate stress in the foot, knees, ankles, and back. I believe that The Healing Sole will help provide your feet with rest and recovery.
However, true tarsal tunnel syndrome involves compression of the tibial nerve near the ankle, a level above The Healing Sole’s treatment. No shoe will decompress this nerve, but The Healing Sole can allow the structures of the foot to be less stressed and more efficient in the setting of nerve compression.
That being said, the Healing Sole is designed to provide stress reduction to the foot. The rocker bottom sole limbers up the muscles and allows a gentle stretch to both the heel cord and the plantar fascia, and the combination compressible and non-compressible heel cushions you right at the main zone of heel pain.
The Healing Sole is great for foot health. While it may not cure your plantar fasciitis or nerve compression, you may find relief and allow your body a chance to heal itself naturally.
So give it a chance.
Remember - not all heel pain is the same, so don't give up. If you haven't responded well to treatment in the past, it may be best to seek another opinion. Rather than plantar fasciitis, you might have a nerve compression instead.
Meredith Warner, MD
Dr. Meredith Warner is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices out of her clinic, Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, in Baton Rouge, LA. She developed The Healing Sole as an alternative method to traditional and costly medical treatments for foot pain like plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.