Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Kali, and
today we’re gonna show you some stretches and exercises for tarsal
tunnel syndrome. So let’s get started. So the tarsal tunnel is on the inside, the medial side, of your foot, and it runs right behind
and underneath that bump, which is your malleolus, and so that little tunnel gets
really irritated and tender, and sometimes you can have numbness in your
foot if that area is getting compressed, so a great way to work it out is start
off with just some range of motion exercises, so I like to prop up my foot
just with a noodle or a thick towel. If you are on a couch or bed as long as
you’re just propping it off the edge that’s fine, you just want to have that
room so your heel doesn’t touch the floor so you have that movement in your
ankle, so the first thing that we’re just going to do is just a really simple
ankle pump, and so the ankle pumps you just push down as far as you can, and
then pull up as far as you can, so you’re really just trying to get that whole
area moved a little bit, so just starting off with 10 to 15 of those, just really
kind of getting that movement in there and so that helps just kind of loosen
everything up. So after you do an ankle pump, then you’re gonna do ankle circles,
so now just making a circle with your ankle. Now the big thing to remember with
the ankle circles is really try and do it just at your ankle, so it’s not making
a circle with the whole leg, your leg is pretty much staying in one spot, and then
you’re doing those circles, so do ten one way and then reverse it and do ten the
other way. So again this is just loosening up that ankle, loosening up
that tendon getting some motion just to kind of get some flow in there and
increase the circulation in there. So after the circles, then you’re going to
do a side to side, or we call them windshield wipers, so this time it’s
going to be out back and forth, so again with this one, it’s not the whole leg
going back and forth, it’s really just at your ankle, so if you have to put
your hand on your leg to make sure it’s not moving, that’s fine, but again just
ten of these just to make sure that that whole area is getting loosened up before
you start doing stuff. So after you do all those, then we’re going to go into a
calf stretch. For the calf stretch using a strap, or if you don’t have a strap you
can use a belt or you can use a dog leash, something that has the loop usually
works a little bit better because then you can just put it around your foot
just about at the ball of your foot, not too high not too low
because you’re gonna use the strap to get this stretch. So you’re not actively
moving your foot towards you, you’re taking that strap and pulling the top of
the foot towards you, so you should feel the stretch in the calf area there and
since this is a stretch you want to hold it for 30 seconds, so after the 30
seconds relax it, shake it out a little bit, and then do that a total of three
times, but getting a nice good stretch in there it shouldn’t be painful, so if it’s
a little bit painful on that medial side, take off that pressure just a little bit.
If you want to get that medial side stretched a little bit more, you can kind
of turn your foot outwards just a little bit and stretch, and that’ll stretch that
inside just a little bit more, not a whole lot more, but just a little bit
more of that in that tunnel area. So after you do that three times, thirty
seconds, then you’re gonna do a ball roll. So I’m gonna grab a ball. You can use a
lacrosse ball, you can use a tennis ball, you can use the racket ball ,but you want
it to be slightly firm because that’s going to just kind of work that whole
area of the foot, the bottom of the foot area there, so you can do this sitting in
a chair, you can do it sitting down on the floor for a little bit less pressure,
but just put it under the arch of your foot, and just roll it around a little
bit. So since all those tendons that go through that tarsal tunnel go kind of
down into the foot, you really want that area to be loosened up as well, so just
rolling the foot around on the ball, you can kind of even go into the heel a
little bit does a good job of just kind of loosening up that fascia, loosening
out those tendons around around the foot and the ball of the foot area. So you can
just do this for about a minute to three minutes if you want to, if it feels good
it’s a great way to you do something at work because if
you’re sitting at your desk, you can just put the ball down on the ground and then
roll it out that way, so that’s that’s a really nice way to do it as well. Then
what you want to do is what we call a cross friction massage just right on
that tunnel area, so get this area right here that goes behind that
bump that malleolus is that tunnel on the inside. So cross friction massage is
basically if the tendon is going this way downwards and through, you want to
cross it so you’re instead of doing the massage up and down, you’re doing it a
side-to-side, so this is designed to really kind of get that blood
circulation to the area, so you want to push pretty firmly up and down, but you
don’t want to be painful, a little bit sore, a little bit
uncomfortable is okay, but you’re really trying to get that friction in there
just to help give that circulation to that tendon or those tendons that go
through that tunnel, and all those vessels that go through the tunnel, so
just working your way up and down. You only have to do this about a minute, if
the area gets a little bit red, that’s okay, that’s just bringing the blood to
the surface that means it’s working, but again you don’t want it to be painful
while you’re doing it, but you’re you’re crossing that tendon you’re doing that
cross friction massage. So now I’m going to show you some exercises standing up.
So a great exercise for the ankles in general is a heel toe raise. When you’re
standing, make sure you have something sturdy to hold on to, so you can use a
chair a countertop even if you’re next to a wall, just to have a little bit of
balance because you want to make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly.
Start off with your feet about shoulder width apart, and you’re just going to
come up on your toes and then slowly come back down and bring your heels up,
but make sure it’s a slow controlled motion, so up on the toes high as you
comfortably can, and then slowly down, and then bringing
the heels up or the toes up. When you bring the toes up, make sure you’re not
bringing them up by sticking your booty out, your actually lifting those toes up.
So again going up nice and slow, coming back down, and then pull
the toes, so if this is uncomfortable or painful, you might not quite be ready for
it, but if it feels okay then work your way
up to getting to 20-25. If that’s easy doing both of them, then you can go just
to one foot, so same kind of thing where you’re going up on your toes, and slowly
coming down, and then pulling your toes up, but try not to stick out your booty
when you do it, so it’s really important to go nice and slow for that going down
that eccentric motion, and then pulling the toes up and coming back up. So if you’re
just going fast and rocking back and forth using momentum, that’s not really
actually working those muscles, you’re just using momentum to work them, so make
sure you do a nice slow controlled motion. The next one is going to be a
balance series. The balance works really really well for all those finer control
ankle muscles, so it’s it’s really good getting everything strong again,
strengthen those muscle tendons that go through that cube, not cubital tunnel,
tarsal tunnel down into the foot, so really working them and getting those
muscles stronger is important because if something’s irritated, getting some
strength back in it will help. So this time you’re just gonna stand on one foot
again. Make sure you hold on to something to start off with, and then you can
slowly progress to not holding on to anything, but just standing on one foot
and start off with two hands just holding on to the chair or the counter
top, start off with 10 to 15 seconds. Again if you have that tarsal tunnel
syndrome, that’s going to might be a little bit irritating, if it’s not, then
go ahead and just hold on with one hand, and then if you can easily get up to a
minute with that then just try maybe holding on with one finger, but if you’re
pushing down if your fingers getting bent or your fingers hurting, you’re
still putting a little bit too much pressure on it and you’re not quite
ready for that, but then if you get to there then you can just balance without
holding on at all. And so as you can see, while I’m doing this my my ankles
wiggling a little bit, my body’s swaying just a little bit, that’s completely
normal, that’s natural, that’s just our body’s way
trying to find that center of gravity, so if your ankles moving a little bit
that’s okay, but if it’s hurting while it’s moving a little bit, then that’s not
okay, and then you’re probably not quite ready for not holding on to anything, so
go back to here and if that’s still hurting, then you’re probably not quite
ready for that yet. So those are your stretches and exercises for tarsal
tunnel syndrome. They really tired Kali out. If you’d like to find out how to
support my channel click up here, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking
down here, and remember be safe ,have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

57 Replies to “Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Today the bottom of my big toe and arch was so itchy and hurting so bad! After Googling for 30 minutes, I discovered that I'm suffering from this. I also have plantar fasciitis. These exercises helped. Plus I found pressing down on the area just above my arch gives relief, but only while I'm pressing down on it. Thank you for your videos!

  2. Hello Dr Jo! Thank you very much for all your very helpful videos.
    3 questions please on the tarsal tunnel syndrome.
    I was initially diagnosed with posterior tibial tendon weakness/inflammation (physio) but an ultrasound scan (sport doctor) revealed that tendons are fine and that there is no tib post weakness (dorsiflexion, inversion and eversion resistance tests).
    The questions are:
    1. Is the difference between post tib inflammation and tarsal tunnel syndrome easy to make upon examination? How likely is it to confuse both conditions as the pain is located in the same area?
    2. Can you suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome if you manage to execute (painfree) all the exercises from your video? It seems in my case that symptoms are only triggered when running.
    3. Would you recommend a reduction in running when the symptoms manifest or a strict interruption in training?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  3. Hi Dr. Jo, I was in a bad car wreck & I've been diagnosed with TTS. The main problem is my big toe & 2nd toe. Numbness, pain, tingling etc. when sitting. Standing & walking is painful – the longer I stand, the pain then gravitates to my remaining toes, inside of the ball of my foot & arch. If I continue to walk or stand, it eventually reaches the top of my foot. I wonder if I have another issue other than TTS? The orthotics def. didn't help. Any suggestions? ty!

  4. I could really use some help diagnosing what i have i have like a sting or pain feeling in the back of my heal and can only feel the pain when i bend down?

  5. if i pull my toes towards me, on iether foot, it feels like the back of my heel is ripping apart. even the numb one feels like it. could this be something more serious having to do with back nerves? the parts you talk about in here are not where mine hurt. mine are directly in the back midway down the ankle and achiles. the pain goes from there to maybe like 4 inches up the back of the ankle. stretches have not helped. i been doing them long periods of time. if i rest even 5 minutes and stretch my toes towards me, right back at square 1…burning tingling ripping

  6. Thanks jo some of them really helped big time . I have had umpteen physios at special pain management but nothing . Thanks again jo

  7. When I sit down I feel that the nerve slide from my knee .
    And when I stand again I feel that it came back .

  8. Excellent instructional video! You clearly and simply explain each exercise, demonstrate how to do it, and describe what NOT to do, which is equally important. The audio is slightly muffled, but I can still hear it. My only suggestion would be to wear shorts or roll up the pant legs, and remove your socks so it is easier to see what you are doing.

  9. Dr. Jo would the exercise shown in the video be beneficial for mild foot numbness resulting from lumber disc bulge. Thanks.

  10. After trying to ignore the increasing pain, after following your instructions I have had instant relief. Just a dull ache now. How many times a day/week would you recommend?

  11. Thanks so much, Dr Jo. I didn’t know I had this, it kind of developed from my sciatica, and stretches for that weren’t helping at all. This helped immediately.

  12. Got this in my right foot after battling (and curing) 2 years of plantar fasciitis. Got a couple cortisone injections and want to stay on top of long term PT options

  13. Seen an orthopedic specialist for sports medicine a few times and received steroids but never once did he tell me about these exercises. I did what you said and literally almost felt better instantly thank you

  14. I was diagnosed with bilateral TTS in Jan 17. 6 months previously I had an accident resulting in broken tibia/fibula "Potts fracture" on one side , and a broken foot on the other side. The broken navicular was not diagnosed for 7 months after my accident, as I had reactive arthritis in that ankle at that time which masked the pain. MRI scans also showed osteo arthritis.
    I then had various orthopaedic surgeons trying to say my all over foot numbness/tingling/pain was too severe to be TTS, but my nerve conduction studies finally goaded the NHS into action.
    I had my left ankle TTS surgery 4 weeks ago. 8 inch cut, plaster 2 weeks now in moon boot, but noticing improvement in symptoms.
    My question is, are these exercises appropriate at my recovery stage, and how long may complete recovery take, if at all? I also have had pain inside of knee and outside of upper leg (tingling, electrical shock feeling, skin moving involuntarily). The NHS kept saying TTS surgery is high risks they tried to talk me out of it.

  15. After 3.5 years of fulltime driving for Uber/Lyft, I've started to experience Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. It's impacted my life a lot, especially since I enjoy being active myself. The stretches help a lot, as well as having a tennis ball. Thank you very much.

  16. Thank you SOOOOOO VERY MUCH!!!! After doing this just two times I have relief in my ankle and toes. Seems my finding you was my Christmas Miracle!!!

  17. My ankle felt like it was going to go out yesterday an I woke up to this pain an I can’t walk on it an it feels like my foot cramping over an painful to try an walk. I know my ankles are weak, should I see a Droctor or would a Droctor on demand be okay. In this is the only thing online that points to where my pain is coming from. Hurts to touch it. Opinions please!

  18. Can you get tarsal tunnel in both feet? When I go to sleep at night it goes away. When I get up in the morning after I’ve been on my feet for awhile it comes back. It’s so painful the only relief I get is to lay down in bed. I’ve been struggling with this for about a 1 1/2 years.

  19. Nothing with my back. I did have meniscus surgery for my right knee, when they put the scope in the doctor gave me nerve damage.

  20. I can't do the pump movements and movements of toes. I find it hard to bend my toes, let alone do all of those movement

  21. Have you any exercises for sinus tarsi syndrome. My ankles got very sore recently during a round of golf. I also wear orthotics on both shoes.

  22. The emg tested positive for left foot tarsal tunnel. Doctor wants to give me a cortisone shot. Does that usually work?

  23. Its impossible to take tarsal tunnel in both feet? When i dont wear shoes i am good ..when i wear then the pain its strong! Foot calf and leg pain!!!

  24. I turned my ankle last Saturday, immediately I felt slight discomfort but nothing major. Tuesday night my whole left foot was numb (ecspecially the top) with done mild pain on ankle. Could this be nerve related?

  25. Hi Jo, I did a 6 hour hike last week in old running shoes that press on the inside of my heel. The other day i noticed a numb patch on the inside section of my heel and slightly up to the ankle. Can hiking and climbing in bad shoes cause it? And is it dangerous to continue dancing with this problem? I will go to the doctor tomorrow, but I am living in Brazil and am relying on public healthcare, so i could have to wait for months to see a specialist…

  26. Amazing!!! Broke my ankle almost 14yrs ago and it always feels like a pinched nerve in my ankle. Some days it's hard to walk. This has really helped alot. Thanks

  27. Should you do this routine more than once per day? It seemed to help but didn't take long for the numbness in my heel/outside bottom of foot to come back. I only feel it when I stand up from sitting or lying down and it goes away after a few steps. I really want to run but also don't want to make it worse.

  28. Dr. Jo. Thanks for posting these exercises. My GP wanted to refer me to a back surgeon, my chiropractor gave me months of spinal decompression and a Nurse Practitioner wanted me to take lots of vitamin B12 and quit having a couple glasses of red wine but none of them knew about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. These exercises have really helped the numbness in my heal. Greatly appreciate your posts.

  29. Thank you so much. I have this and it hurts so bad I have a hard time walking. I'm going to do this everyday now.

  30. Hi. Do these work for anterior tarsal tunnel syndrome when the deep peroneal nerve is compressed? Thanks!

  31. I have torn my right inner ankle legaments from an old sport rugby injury…aprox 7-9yrs ago…lastnight i was working on my movements in my right knee as it was bit swollen n as i was bending back n forth to try get blood circulation..as of that I thought working on my ankle join aswell rotation get that area strengthening so that i can get the best mobility n walking,as after while felt my pulse from back of my knee n bk of my archillies was going hundres miles ph!then felt a funny tingle from back of my knee all the way down to the heel of feet..pins n needles feeling…was pretty scary feeling…so i rice straight away elevate my right leg n after while got myself calm and then the numbness feeling at the heel of my foot,usually at the heel,at the moment cannot walk 100% but its not painful when i walk just feels weak and un normal…so now i have been slowly rehabing on the first two exercises on this clip but wasn’t sure if I should work on the full rehab as injury only occurred lastnight (esttime) New Zealand…if anyone had same problem can u pls gimme tips on how to get bk to normal would be much appreciated n grateful azzz!✌🏾

  32. Doctor Jo , thanks for all the help. I am having similar pain on right side of my foot. What can be the reason for this TTS and how can I prevent from happening on other foot. My doctor suggest to go for NCV report. Do you think this is too early to do that report ? In my daily routine i use to walk approx 2 miles

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