The primary cause of tarsal foot pain or tarsal tunnel syndrome is not yet known, but physicians attribute the condition to swollen varicose veins, complications with diabetes and noncancerous tumors on the tibial nerve, according to the Medical Multimedia Group. Nerve problems within the foot may also cause the condition.
Tarsal foot pain occurs when inflammation in the tissues causes the tissues to swell and put pressure on the nerve, explains the Medical Multimedia Group. Increased pressure in the tarsal tunnel also strains the flexor retinaculum, which does not have much room to stretch. When nerves in the foot experience pressure from inflammation, the foot often feels numb and the muscles become weak. Patients often experience pain in the foot where the nerve is pinched or squeezed.
Nonsurgical treatment is aimed at controlling inflammation, according to the Medical Multimedia Group. Physicians commonly recommend anti-inflammatory medication and rest to ease irritation on the nerve within the affected foot. Some patients with pronation problems may need to wear specialized inserts in their shoes to accommodate flattened arches and relieve tension on the tibial nerve. Treatment may also include cortisone injections to bathe the tissues and nerves in the foot. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. Patients with symptoms of tarsal foot pain or tarsal tunnel syndrome should consult with a medical professional.