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Exercises for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

by
author image Jackie Carmichael
Jackie Carmichael has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in "Woman's World" and "American Baby" magazines. Carmichael is a licensed registered nurse and has worked in fields related to cardiovascular health and psychiatry. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The Ohio State University.
Exercises for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Girl walking on tiptoes Photo Credit ProfStock/iStock/Getty Images

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs from pressure placed on the tibial nerve which runs through the tarsal tunnel from your ankle to the front of your foot. This pressure can result from abnormal foot placement while walking or running to an injury or disease. Strengthening and stretching exercises can help the condition, but should not cause pain. If they do, stop and contact your doctor.

Pencil Lift

This exercise strengthens your toe muscles. Strengthening various muscles in your foot may help prevent tarsal tunnel syndrome from returning, according to Sports Injury Clinic. Place a pencil on a firm surface and pick it up with your toes on the affected foot. Hold this position for seven to eight seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise six times, three times daily.

Walking on Toes or Heels

These exercises are functional strengthening exercises and help to improve movement. Walk on the tips of your toes barefoot. Perform four sets of this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds each. Rest for 15 seconds between sets. Do this exercise two times daily.

Walk on your heels barefoot. Perform four sets of this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds each. Rest for 15 seconds between sets. Do this exercise two times daily.

Sitting Calf Stretch

The calf stretch is a flexibility exercise meant to loosen tight leg muscles so extra stress isn't placed on your ankle. Sit down with your injured-side knee straight and loop a towel around the ball of your foot. Slowly pull the towel back until you feel your upper calf stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Do six to 10 sets of this exercise five to seven days a week.

Standing Calf Stretch

When you are able to stand, you can try the upright calf stretch. Put your hands on a wall, then place your injured foot behind the other while pointing your toes forward. While keeping your back leg straight, slowly bend your front knee until you feel the calf in your back leg stretch. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds. Do six to 10 sets of this exercise five to seven days a week.

Sitting Heel Stretch

This is another flexibility exercise that will loosen tight muscles in your heel and lower calf, according to Sports Podiatry. Sit with your affected-side knee slightly bent and loop a towel around the ball of your foot. Slowly pull the towel back until you feel a stretch in your heel and lower calf. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Do six to 10 sets of this exercise five to seven days a week.

Standing Heel Stretch

When you can stand, you can try an upright heel stretch. Place your hands on a wall, then place your injured foot behind the other while pointing your toes forward. With your heels flat on the ground, slowly bend your back knee until you feel your heel stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Do six to 10 sets of this exercise five to seven days a week.

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