resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
December, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 12
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Most people are aware of carpal tunnel syndrome as a common nerve entrapment problem in the wrist and hand. There is a similar type of nerve entrapment in the ankle, which is not as common.Entrapment of the tibial nerve as it passes through a tunnel on the medial side of the ankle is called tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Nerve entrapment syndromes don't occur with as much frequency in the lower extremity as they do in the upper extremity. As a result, tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is considered by some to be a rare condition, leading to it being frequently overlooked as a source of foot pain.1 The location of pain on the plantar surface of the foot produced by TTS also might cause it to be mistaken for plantar fasciitis. TTS also can be mistaken for proximal nerve compression pathologies, such as herniated discs in the lumbar region.
As the tibial nerve exits the deep posterior compartment, it passes around the medial side of the ankle on its way to termination in the toes. Near the medial malleolus, it divides into three branches. Just after it divides into these three branches, they all pass under a fascial band on the medial side of the ankle called the flexor retinaculum (Figure 1). The retinaculum is connected superiorly to the medial malleolus and inferiorly to the medial side of the calcaneus. The space under the retinaculum is the tarsal tunnel. There are several other structures that pass through the tunnel, including the tendons of tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus, and the posterior tibial artery and vein.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome results when the tibial nerve or its branches are exposed to compressive or tensile stress within the tarsal tunnel. Nerve compression occurs from pressure outside the tunnel such as a direct blow to the medial side of the ankle or from force within the tunnel from synovial ganglions or bony prominences.2,3
A swelling of synovial tendon sheaths (tenosynovitis) also could compress the tibial nerve.
Tensile forces on the tarsal tunnel nerves also cause symptoms. Neural tension results from either a sudden or chronic stretch of the nerve. Sudden nerve stretch happens in acute injuries while chronic stretching results from postural distortions such as a calcaneal valgus foot alignment.
Peripheral neuropathies like TTS can be linked to systemic disorders such as diabetes, muscular sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and hyperthyroidism.4 Note that some medications might cause sensitivity in the distal lower extremity nerves that could be mistaken for compression pathologies in the tarsal tunnel.
Identifying the Condition
A client with TTS reports sharp, shooting pain sensations around the medial ankle and along the plantar surface of the foot. In addition to pain, there might be paresthesia, numbness or motor weakness in the muscles of the foot. Symptoms ordinarily are worse after long periods of standing or walking, but also might be aggravated during the night if the nerve is in a compromised position for prolonged periods. Ask about recent trauma involving sudden compressive or tensile loads on the nerve, as recent injuries might be responsible for the symptoms. It's important to ask about systemic disorders that might cause TTS, or be related to it.
There are no clear visible signs of tarsal tunnel syndrome, but certain postural disorders such as calcaneal varus or valgus can aggravate the condition. Although uncommon, if TTS is severe or has been present for a long time some atrophy of the muscles innervated by the divisions of the tibial nerve might be apparent. Placing pressure directly on the tarsal tunnel is one of the most valuable ways of identifying this condition and is sometimes called the tarsal compression test. If the pressure reproduces the client's primary pain or other neurological sensations, it's a good indication of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
A special orthopedic test called the dorsiflexion-eversion test also is used to identify the condition. In this test, the client is in a supine position. The ankle is passively moved into maximum dorsiflexion and eversion while the toes are held in hyperextension (Figure 2). The position is held for five to 10 seconds. If symptoms develop, it's a positive sign of TTS.
Identifying nerve compression pathologies like TTS is important so proper treatment can be administered. If the client reports foot pain, there might be a tendency to use additional pressure around the ankle or foot in an effort to "work it out." This would be a mistake with a nerve compression pathology like TTS. Accurate identification will guide the most appropriate treatment.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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