Lateral plantar nerve entrapment causes pain radiating to the inner, lower heel and inner ankle area. The injury involves the nerves in the inner heel and ankle area, which is where the pain is normally located. Read more on the symptoms and how you can treat this specific case of heel pain.
Symptoms include pain originating from the nerve which radiates into the lower heel on the inside as well as the inner ankle area. Unusually for a nerve compression injury numbness in the heel or foot is not normally a symptom. A doctor may inject the area with local anesthetic or perform nerve conduction tests to help diagnose a plantar nerve entrapment.
What is lateral plantar nerve entrapment?
The lateral plantar nerve branches off the posterior tibial nerve after it has passed through the tarsal tunnel. The nerve can become trapped or compressed between the abductor hallucis muscle and the quadratus planus muscle in the foot.
Rest is important. Avoid using the foot as much as possible. If the injury is minor then adjusting training methods by reducing mileage or substituting swimming or cycling for running until the injury has healed may be sensible. For a more severe injury, complete rest may be advised.
A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or NSAID's (e.g. ibuprofen). Always check with a doctor before taking medication. Do not take ibuprofen if you have asthma.
To help the foot rest the arch of the foot can be supported with a simple arch taping technique. Orthotics may also be prescribed to correct biomechanical problems of the foot such as overpronation. A corticosteroid injection may be administered if conservative treatment is unsuccessful. If this also fails, a surgical release may be performed.