Tarsal tunnel syndrome refers to a condition caused due to the compression and squeezing of the posterior tibial nerve that passes through the tarsal Tunnel. The symptoms of this disorder such as pain can vary in intensity from mild to extremely severe. The symptoms are experienced along the course of the posterior tibial nerve that passes from the inner side of the ankles to the feet. Tarsal tunnel syndrome alternative cure using ayurvedic herbs and therapies can offer effective, long-term relief from the symptoms of this condition.
The pathogenesis or the development of Tarsal tunnel syndrome is quite similar to that of carpal tunnel syndrome, which develops due to the compression of the nerve passing through the wrist into the hand. Both of these disorders arise from the excessive pressure on a nerve at a location where it passes through a confined or narrow space.
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passage that lies on the underside of the ankles next to the small ankle bones. This tunnel is covered by a thick ligament called the flexor retinaculum, which protects the structures within the tunnel including the posterior tibial nerve, blood vessels, and tendons.
Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when excessive pressure is exerted on the structures of this passage due to which there is a compression of the posterior tibial nerve. The common causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome include:
The presence of developmental variations of the lower part of the feet called the flat foot. People, who have flat feet, are at a higher risk for developing tarsal tunnel syndrome as this disorder causes an outward tilting of the heels due to the fallen or flat arches. This produces strain on the passage resulting in the compression on the posterior tibial nerve.
An injury in the region of the ankle such as ankle sprain can lead to inflammation and swelling in or around the tunnel resulting in the compression of the nerve.
An abnormal or enlarged structure occupying space within the tarsal tunnel can also compress the nerve. This may occur due to varicose veins, swollen tendons, ganglionic cyst, and arthritic bone spurs. These are external structures that increase pressure on the outer part of the tarsal tunnel and compress the nerve.
Systemic disorders such as arthritis and diabetes can cause swelling thereby compressing the nerve.
The use of herbs recommended by Ayurveda, the system of Indian Medicine, could help to reduce pressure on the posterior tibial nerves and thus, provide relief from the symptoms of this condition.
The herbs usually act by producing an anti-inflammatory action to reduce swelling in the region and also produce a natural analgesic effect thereby controlling pain and discomfort along the nerve. Patients suffering from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome are advised to consult an ayurvedic physician or doctor who would prescribe the most effective herbs to relieve this condition, based upon your body type.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Patients with tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop the following symptoms:
Pain in the ankle region and foot that is often described as sharp and shooting
Tingling and numbness along the course of the nerve
A sensation of an electrical shock
The symptoms caused due to tarsal tunnel syndrome are usually felt along the inner side of the ankle and the lower side of the foot. The symptoms may sometimes be isolated occurring at just one spot. In some cases, the pain may extend to the arch of the foot, heel, toes and the calf.
In most cases, the symptoms appear abruptly and are brought on and aggravated due to the overuse of the foot. Prolonged walking and standing, strenuous exercises, and beginning a new exercise program are known to worsen or trigger the symptoms of this condition.
When left untreated, the compression can progress resulting in permanent damage to the nerve. This may lead to a limited mobility of the affected tissues and even necessitate the patient to undergo surgery to decompress the nerve. Seeking ayurvedic treatments that include using herbal remedies, following a balanced ayurvedic diet and performing yoga asanas could provide long-term relief from these symptoms and root causes of the problem (imbalanced Vata Dosha).
An ayurvedic diet is believed to relieve compression of the posterior tibial nerve and prevent further progress of the disease. The diet may include foods that are stabilising the imbalanced dosha (ayurveda energies) that in-return can enhance nerve health. An ayurvedic physician may also recommend eating foods containing vitamin C as it can prevent oxidative damage to the structures in the tarsal tunnel thereby preventing the worsening of the condition.
Regular use of herbs that possess natural medicinal potential could provide significant tarsal tunnel pain relief. Here is the list of herbs that can be used to derive relief from pain and other symptoms of this condition and prevent its progress.
Rasana (Pluchea lanceolata): Rasana is one of the most effective ayurvedic herbs used for the management of tarsal tunnel syndrome. It works by improving nerve health and protecting it against damage.
Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa): Punarnava can be used to improve the body's natural ability to regenerate the tissues damaged due to tarsal tunnel syndrome. It is also anti inflammatory.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): ayurvedic medicine recommends the use of Ashwagandha to manage pain along the course of the posterior tibial nerve. It produces an analgesic effect and reduces nerve pain. 
Bala (Sida cordifolia ): the use of Bala can help to relieve pain and discomfort along the course of the posterior tibial nerve by producing a natural analgesic effect and its rejuvenating for any nerve damage.
Erand (Ricinus communis): Erand would act as an anti-inflammatory agent and minimize swelling and inflammation in the tarsal tunnel thereby reducing compression of the nerve.
Turmeric: Research studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric can reduce neuropathic pain caused due to this condition. Regular use of this herb could provide significant relief from the signs of tarsal tunnel syndrome.  
Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza Glabra): Mulethi is particularly recommended to relieve the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome linked to neuropathy in diabetic patients.
Alternative treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome using herbs, yoga, and other therapies such as panchakarma can help patients avoid the intense pain caused due to this condition. Patients can contact the best ayurvedic clinic in Melbourne, Australia to learn the most effective holistic ayurveda treatment plan for managing or recovering from this condition. Some energy point massage (marma massage) mentioned in the ayurvedic text books are highly helpful to reduce external pressure on the posterior tibial nerve thereby reducing pain.
Panchakarma detoxification would help by eliminating toxins and pro-inflammatory substances accumulated in the body. It would help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected tissues and support faster recovery. Your ayurvedic doctor may also recommend applying an herbal pack or some specific ayurvedic therapies and immobilisation of the part during an acute phase of pain. The comprehensive treatment plan recommended by Ayurveda would not just help the patient avoid pain caused due to tarsal tunnel syndrome but also control factors that can contribute to the worsening of the condition.
Contact Dr Saini, who is practicing from Northcote and Wantrina south, in Melbourne, to discuss your issues related to Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
Dr. Gurnam Saini
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery
MD Alternative Medicine
Panchkarma Detox Expert
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease