Lateral plantar nerve is a source of innervations for the foot and it is a branch of the posterior tibial nerve. The lateral plantar nerve passes through the tarsal tunnel when entering the foot. After passing the tarsal tunnel, it gives off many branches to supply different areas of the foot.
Unfortunately sometimes, the lateral plantar nerve is compressed between the two muscles it passes by, the abductor hallucis muscle and the quadrates planus muscle. Severe loss of senses is not there as it supplies only a small muscle and small fascia in the foot. However it can be treated by surgical methods and some other preventive techniques. This article primarily focuses on causes, prevention and cures of the lateral plantar nerve entrapment.
What are symptoms of Lateral nerve entrapment?
Some major signs and symptoms of the lateral plantar nerve compression are:
- Burning sensations in the lower part of heel
- Radiation of pain to ankle and bottom of foot
- Worsening of pain on running and jumping
- Difficulty in standing
What causes lateral plantar nerve entrapment?
The main culprits for causing the pain due to plantar nerve entrapment are:
- Putting some increased amount of pressure on the lateral plantar nerve directly
- Pressing the structures surrounding the lateral plantar nerve
- Pinching of the nerve by connective tissue
- Inflammation of surrounding fascia
- Swelling of the plantar fascia
Treatment options for lateral plantar nerve entrapment:
Treatment depends on the severity of the nerve entrapment as it can be relieved by taking rest only on some cases and surgery becomes a must in other. Some of the common household and medical methods to treat the disorder are:
- Taking rest: rest is the first and foremost thing to do as it will prevent the further aggravation. If you move the muscles, the entrapped nerve will be crushed between them and there will be severe pain and nerve is at the stake of damage. So limit your movements to heal the problem.
- Apply Ice: ice is an amazing thing as it causes numbness and decreases the pain and also reduces the inflammation as very low temperature limits the spread of the chemical substances to other areas. Wrap a small block of ice in a clean cloth and apply on the affected part, it will reduce inflammation if present and nerve will be released.
- Medications: drugs are best choice for gaining an instant relief from pain and boosting up the healing time. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are used to relieve the inflammation and swelling and pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are used to reduce the pain. The drugs may be injected directly for a fast and effective effect.
- Stretching exercises: certain exercises are adopted to relax the muscles and decrease their size. In this way, muscles release the compressed nerve and symptoms of lateral plantar nerve entrapment abolish.
- Surgery: if all the conservative methods and medications fail to provide the relief, then surgery is the option left. The nerve can be removed or the structures compressing the nerve are treated to release the nerve from constant pressure.