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Thread: Tarsal Tunnel

  1. #1
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    Tarsal Tunnel

    Hello, just wondering if anyone out there has had any experience with Tarsal Tunnel or Peripheral Neuropathy in your feet that was attributable to swimming. I have been swimming for 10 years and my symptoms began about 5 years ago. I don't know that swimming is a factor, however any information that would help me narrow the cause down prior to surgery would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Doug

  2. #2
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Tarsal Tunnel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dkinkle View Post
    Hello, just wondering if anyone out there has had any experience with Tarsal Tunnel or Peripheral Neuropathy in your feet that was attributable to swimming. I have been swimming for 10 years and my symptoms began about 5 years ago. I don't know that swimming is a factor, however any information that would help me narrow the cause down prior to surgery would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Doug

    I have had tarsal tunnel; however, it was before I got back into swimming. My case of it could probably be attributed to walking too many miles on a treadmill in shoes without enough cushioning and not fitting properly. (I have AAA width feet with a 6A heel, so shoes that fit properly in the heel are snug through the front.)

    After having custom orthodics made, I eventually healed through physical therapy exercises, rest, and wearing good shoes with the orthodics (most of the time).

    Since I have been off the treadmill and back in the pool, I have had no problems with my feet. If anything, swimming has kept my feet feeling better! It is only when I walk in dressier shoes without the orthodics that I have a problem, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

    To determine the cause, you may want to bring your shoes with you if you see a podiatrist. The doctor can examine your feet, watch your gait when you walk, and check the fit of your shoes. I happen to have very thin, boney feet without much fat in the foot pads, so my doctor prescribed orthodics with "EXTRA cushioning." He also recommended I wear New Balance running shoes with extra cushioning.

    The orthopedic surgeon I consulted with said to do anything and everything possible to AVOID surgery, because this type of surgery has a low success rate. Fortunately, the orthodics, exercises, rest, and proper shoes did the trick for me and kept me away from the knife. I had a very bad case of tarsal tunnel, too; I could barely walk.

    Good luck!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  3. #3
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    Re: Tarsal Tunnel

    If you are open to alternative therapies I very highly recommend SASTM (sound assisted soft tissue mobilization) or Graston technique. They are similar therapies that break down scar tissue and adhesions that are causing limited range of motion, pain, numbness, etc. Professional sports teams use it, and the book "Supple Like a Leopard" by a Cross Fit guru/owner/physical therapist shows a lot a massages and manipulations you can do yourself with balls and rollers... that are all part of the same goal of breaking down scar tissue and adhesions. (BTW that book covers the whole body, except the hands and feet.)

    I have lots of scar tissue in my left hand, that I dont know how I got and wouldn't know about, except I've had trigger finger and carpal tunnel in that hand. (Fortunately I'm right handed.) The carpal tunnel made my hand go completely numb if I swam more than 500 yards or sometimes less without spending time to massage it and work it out. I even got a cortisone shot, but it didn't help much. I'm still getting SASTM for the CT, but I expect it to work completely, like it did with the trigger finger I had a few years ago. (I swam a mile straight last week and I had a little tingling, but nothing compared to how bad it was a month ago.)

    My practitioner is a chiropractor, but other professionals like physical therapists and trainers use it too.
    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  4. #4
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    Re: Tarsal Tunnel

    Wondering how you're doing now? I have had tarsal tunnel syndrome for 18 months; some days are unbearable, some days are tolerable, but it's always there. I have met with numerous foot and ankle surgeons and the consensus seems to be that it's up to me to decide if/when my bad days outnumber good. I have just recently taken up swimming (July 2019), as I have had to official hang up my running shoes due to this, and I feel my pain is better managed but still absolutely still present--mostly swimming has given me a way to stay active with minimal impact. How long were you in pain before getting better? I am leaning towards pursuing surgery, but I know there are no guarantees.

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