Are you experiencing nagging ankle pain? Pain and swelling on the outside of your ankle? Have you sprained your ankles more than once? It could be sinus tarsi syndrome!
What is Sinus Tarsi Syndrome?
The sinus tarsi is a tunnel between two of your ankle bones. This tunnel can become injured from an inversion ankle sprain, especially if the sprain was severe! People who sprain their ankles often, or do a lot of standing/walking are more at risk for developing this condition. Individuals who are over-pronators or have flat feet can also put extra strain on this tunnel and cause irritation.
Symptoms of Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
The biggest indicator of this syndrome is pain on the outside of the ankle, right in front of the lateral malleolus (the bump on the outside of your ankle). Pain is most noticeable when weight-bearing. The pain in this area may be accompanied by a feeling of instability in the ankle, swelling on the outside of the ankle or difficulty walking on unstable/uneven surfaces.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
The sinus tarsi is a deep structure of the ankle. It’s not directly accessible to the hands of a practitioner. This is where acupuncture can be so valuable! There is an acupuncture point that can be inserted right into the ankle joint and affect the deep ligaments of the ankle.
Inserting a needle into the joint can help flush out the inflammation and decrease the persistent swelling that is often present in individuals with this condition. The needling techniques also help to draw blood flow to the injured area and promotes healing. This is particularly helpful for individuals who chronically injure their ankles. The healing response dampens over time, so inserting a needle into this area can make sure the body doesn’t forget about the injury and keeps trying to heal it!
Treating the surrounding muscles is also beneficial when dealing with sinus tarsi syndrome. The muscles on the outside of the lower leg can become strained after an ankle sprain. Painless acupuncture points in the outside of the leg can help stimulate these muscles and speed up the healing process. Additionally, treating the calf muscles with acupuncture helps to stimulate the same nerves that innervate the ankle joint, and this can help to decrease pain and recovery time!